AARP, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN Critical Care), and the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, an initiative of AARP Foundation, AARP, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, have awarded nearly $275,000 to 12 projects offering promising solutions to strengthen and diversify the nursing workforce through innovative nurse recruitment and retention strategies that establish and sustain healthy, equitable work environments.

Read the announcement | Project Descriptions | Grantee Resources


Fostering a Healthy Workplace for Nurses Using the True Colors Communication Program

Grantee: American Career College Educational Foundation

Goals are to provide a team of nurse and hospital leadership with True Colors, a proven self-awareness and interpersonal communications training program to improve the communication skills of nurses at Greater El Monte Community Hospital; build effective teams with authentic leadership; create a healthier work environment for nurses, as measured through the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses’ Healthy Work Environment Assessment Tool (HWEAT) survey and improved vacancy rate.


Grantee: University of Sothern California Verdugo Hills Hospital

Goals are to establish structures and set clear expectations to enhance staff well-being, promote a supportive work environment, and strengthen organizational resilience in addressing workplace violence incidents (WPV); establish processes to enhance nurses’ ongoing well-being and strengthen organizational resilience specifically in addressing WPV incidents. Lastly, establish processes aimed at reducing the short- and long-term impacts of WPV incidents on nurses, enhancing their ongoing well-being, and strengthening organizational resources to address WPV incidents effectively.

District of Columbia

Commensality: A pathway to true collaboration and meaningful recognition

Grantee: Children’s National Hospital

Goals are to implement commensality groups within clinical nursing units to facilitate true collaboration and help nurses understand the value of meaningful recognition; develop and launch a focused marketing and engagement strategy with patient and families for the DAISY Foundation award program to increase meaningful recognition; and encourage nurses in providing meaningful recognition for each other through the Laudio platform. Also, improve mean aggregate scores for meaningful recognition and true collaboration standards on the HWEAT post-intervention.


Saint Joseph Medical Center Joy in Work Initiative

Grantee: University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center Foundation, Inc.

Goals are to implement stress first-aid and manager well-being. Also, advance health equity initiatives including an antiracist work culture, supporting DEI policies, and proposing actions to address social determinants of health in the community.


Development and Retention of New Graduate Nurses in Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)

Grantee: UMass Memorial Medical Center, Inc.

Goals are to increase new graduate nurse knowledge of the PICU and create a healthy work environment.

New Jersey

Pathway to Nursing

Grantee: The RWJ University Hospital Foundation, Inc.

Goals are to create a healthy work environment among RN mentors and increase the number of Hispanic RNs to more closely align with the population served.

University Hospital’s Stress First Aid Program to Enhance Nurse Resilience and Retention Rates

Grantee: University Hospital

Goals are to raise awareness and establish resources for a project to reduce stress and improve the well-being of nurses.

North Carolina

Promoting Healthy Work Environments and Confronting Workplace Violence Through Simulation Training

Grantee: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Goals are to develop, implement, and evaluate a simulation training program to address violence in the health care setting.


Nurse Manager Academy

Grantee: The Health Collaborative

Goals are to address and improve mental health challenges in the workplace; upskill nursing staff in leadership effectiveness and establish and sustain a healthy work environment for nurses.


The Utilization of the Academy for Diverse Nurse Leaders: Pathway to Healthy Work Environments

Grantee: Vanderbilt University School of Nursing

Goals are to develop and implement a healthy work environment curriculum and training; enhance indicators of a healthy work environment.


Night To Light Revive Before You Drive

Grantee: Methodist Hospital Research Institute

Goals are to identify current level of awareness, perception, and adherence to safety practices during commute of night shift nurses of Methodist Hospital Research Institute; implement awareness interventions through wellness programs posters, flyers, rolling coffee carts, video documentaries, mobile applications, and original song and evaluate the effectiveness of safe driving post night shift awareness programs while continuing all interventions as mentioned above.


Rural Nurse Leadership Training

Grantee: Washington State Hospital Association

Goals are to create a rural nurse leadership training program to support charge nurses, nurse managers and clinical nurse educators. Leadership will be provided for 30 nurses across 12 rural hospitals.

Grantee Resources