Wyoming

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

Education

If nurses are to be as effective as possible in helping to provide high-quality patient care in Wyoming, they will need to be better prepared as care becomes more complex and moves into the community. 
Progress
We 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. Through the ReNEW (Revolutionizing Nursing Education in Wyoming) Initiative, we are enhancing the quality of nursing and health care in Wyoming by revolutionizing nursing education.  ReNEW’s vision is to develop shared, competency-based statewide curriculum; shared leadership, and clinical education focusing on enhancing clinical judgment, skill and professional practice. 
 
ReNEW is progressing through memos of understanding with six Wyoming community colleges and the University of Wyoming.  Nearly 80 volunteers from different backgrounds are working on creating a statewide nursing curriculum to be used at all of the nursing programs in Wyoming.  
 

Leadership

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

Progress
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. We will engage Wyoming’s nurses at all levels to train and provide them with opportunities to lead.  
 
The Wyoming Nurse Leadership Institute (WNLI) gives nurses the skills needed as they progress in their careers, ranging from leading an empowered organization to how the Wyoming health care committee  works. The WNLI consists of four sessions throughout the year and an online component to help participants keep in contact between sessions. The online course is done in partnership with the University of Wyoming Outreach School and a consultant hired to moderate online discussions. Each participant is also paired up with a mentor to discuss leadership issues along with any other guidance the participant requires.  
 
The WNLI is open to all nurses in Wyoming. The WNLI is a collaborative program with the Wyoming Nurses Association (WNA) but being a member of the WNA is not a prerequisite. A special session was held for nurses working in Long Term Care facilities and will be replicated for nurses working in critical access hospitals along with more sessions designed with long term care in mind.
 
 

Practice

In our rural state, access to quality health care is challenging. So it is important that Wyoming’s nurses practice to the full extent of their education and training. Changes to state laws support this, however, institutional barriers still exist. 

Progress

We are implementing strategies that improve patient access to health care services by leveraging  partnerships with key stakeholders. With this network, our goal is to drive the necessary changes to regulatory and institutional barriers to ensure nurses’ ability to provide care across the state.

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

Wyoming’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.  Through all of the projects undertaken by the Action Coalition and our partners, diversity is always a priority.

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 Wyoming.

 

leadership

Mary Burman, Advisory Board Co-Chair, Wyoming Center for Nursing and Health Care Partnerships

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