Colorado sought to strengthen itself as an organization and work on leadership and diversity goals. Colorado has created a strong infrastructure at the Colorado Center for Nursing Excellence to support goals of the Campaign for Action, and now produces a monthly newsletter that is distributed to more than 15,000 individuals.
This project has advanced nursing leadership in a number of ways. Colorado responded to a high turnover rate among academic leaders by developing the Leadership Education for Academic Development (LEAD) program, which bolstered skills and support for nursing deans, directors, and faculty. Additional leadership workshops and trainings have strengthened the culture of nursing leadership statewide, and resulted in more than 40 nurses serving on boards and commissions. New and younger nurse leaders were supported through a 40-under-40 recognition program, an annual educational conference, and quarterly networking events.
With additional funding from the Health Resources & Services Administration, Colorado developed a program to provide mentorship for nursing students from minority or otherwise typically underrepresented backgrounds, including a Mentorship Training Institute and mentoring toolkit. As of spring 2017, 79 students have completed the mentorship program, and it is being adopted in other states.
Colorado completed a statewide survey of nursing employers, noting 80 percent of nurses employed by the major health systems were educated at the baccalaureate level, and a reduced educational level for nurses in rural areas.
In response to a shortage of primary care providers, Colorado identified barriers to advanced practice registered nurses’ being able to practice, which was causing providers to leave the state. The Action Coalition convened a broad group of stakeholders statewide who had influence on subsequent legislative proceses that led to legislation removing some barriers that was signed by the governor in 2015.