West Virginia

The West Virginia Action Coalition serves as the driving force for transforming health care through nursing in our state. The Action Coalition’s vision is for all West Virginians to have access to high-quality, patient-centered care in health care systems where nurses lead change to advance health.

Education

Health care throughout all clinical settings will become more complex, as patients become sicker and the use of technology skyrockets. Nurses are being called upon to meet this challenge. Higher levels of education and training are required to meet demands and to advance health care.   

Progress

We are working with nursing programs throughout West Virginia to develop smooth, seamless transitions for nurses to higher degrees.

The overall goal is to increase the proportion of nurses with a baccalaureate degree to 80 percent by 2020. West Virginia currently has 32 percent of active registered nurses practicing with a baccalaureate degree or higher. Focus will remain on curricula and the need for nurses to achieve the right competencies.

Additionally, we wish to increase the number of doctorally prepared nurses in West Virginia by 20 percent each year. West Virginia currently has one doctoral nursing program. The Coalition will explore flexible programs, delivery systems, and partnerships to achieve this goal.  

Leadership

Leadership in nursing is fundamental to advancing health care. The promotion of the image of nurses as leaders in a variety of health, business and corporate sectors is a first step to a strong nursing profession.

Progress

Preparing nurses through leadership development positions them for a variety of influential, powerful leadership roles. Nurses should serve on committees, commissions and boards where decisions are made to improve patient care. The Action Coalition will develop a repository of leadership roles and organizations held by West Virginia nurses and promote connections to national organizations. The analysis and inclusion in nursing curricula for leadership and business content is essential. The voice of the nurse is mandatory in health care policy and implementation. The development of leadership competencies through personal and professional growth is the key to a strong voice. The West Virginia Action Coalition will identify influential mentors for nurse leaders.   

Practice

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 Outdated laws and regulations must be modernized so that nurses can provide the care that they are educated and trained to deliver.

Progress

Legislation was passed in 2012 to amend the definitions of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs).  This is the first step toward meeting the requirements of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing Consensus Model for APRN Regulation, which enhances mobility and utilization of patient care services provided by APRNs, many of whom are the only providers of health care services in rural areas. Statutory autonomy will decrease barriers to provision of care and will increase access to care for patients. 

Interprofessional Collaboration

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

Progress

We are building partnerships with diverse stakeholders, including physicians and other health providers, to support, spread and implement models of interprofessional collaboration in education and practice.

Diversity

West Virginia’s population is becoming increasingly more diverse, and many residents have unique health care needs. The nursing workforce must evolve to reflect these changing dynamics.

Progress

We will work with our colleagues throughout the state to communicate the value of diversifying the nursing workforce to reflect the state’s population, while also looking to other successful programs as models for implementation.

Data

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.

Progress

We are exploring partnerships and examining models from other states to develop a plan for data collection in our state. Once developed, we will work to promote data-driven policy decisions that improve health care for patients and families in West Virginia.

 

leadership

Jim Kranz, Vice President of Professional Services, West Virginia Hospital Association

Lou Ann Hartley, President, West Virginia Organization of Nurse Executives

Aila Accad, President, West Virginia Nurses Association

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