The Tennessee Action Coalition is the driving force transforming health care through nursing in our state. Understanding that Tennessee has specific health care challenges and needs, we are working with diverse stakeholders to create and model innovative solutions with nurses leading the way.


If nurses are to be as effective as possible in helping to provide high-quality patient care in Tennessee, they will need to be better prepared as care becomes more complex and moves into the community.

Tennessee will advance pathways for a diverse nursing workforce to achieve higher levels of education and training through an improved education system that promotes seamless academic progression, ensuring that nurses can deliver high-quality, patient-centered care.  The Action Coalition and partners are exploring a joint proposal for a transition to practice program for new graduates.  


Nurses bring a unique, important perspective to health care, higher education, business and policy discussions. Faced with Tennessee’s significant health care challenges, nurses at all levels must step up, and contribute their valued perspective.  


We understand that communicating the value of nursing leadership and building allies are critical to providing opportunities for nurses to take on leadership roles. At the same time nurses must develop leadership competencies, and identify opportunities to contribute their value. The Action Coalition will engage Tennessee’s nurses at all levels to train and provide them with opportunities to lead. We are currently learning about and from various nursing leadership centers and institutes across the country.  


Tennessee’s population is growing and changing, as is the shortage of primary care providers. Outdated laws and regulations must be addressed so that nurses can provide the care that they are educated and trained to deliver. 

To ensure that nurses can practice to the full extent of their education and training, we are working with partners to develop a strategy to update laws and regulations that currently prevent patients and families in Tennessee from receiving high quality health care from advanced practice registered nurses. 

Interprofessional Collaboration

To ensure high quality, patient-centered care, health professionals must collaborate in education and practice, and across all health care settings. 


We have gathered a strong Board of diverse stakeholders, including business, health providers, educators, and consumers to support, foster, and facilitate models of interprofessional collaboration in education and practice. 


Tennessee’s population is becoming increasingly diverse and each population has unique health care needs. The nursing workforce must evolve to reflect these changing dynamics. 


We are working to communicate the value of diversifying the nursing workforce to reflect the diversity of our state’s population. 


Effective deployment of the health care workforce requires information – data to tell us what kind of health providers we will need and with what skills. Yet major gaps exist in the workforce data we now have.


Utilizing our strong partnerships, we have begun to collect Tennessee-specific data. We are looking at models from other states to further develop plans for data collection. With the intelligence we gather, we will work to promote data-driven policy decisions that improve health care for patients and families from Memphis to Mountain City.




Carole R. Myers, Associate Professor, University of Tennessee-Knoxville College of Nursing

Tara D. Shaver, Associate State Director for Community Outreach, AARP Tennessee

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