The Kansas Action Coalition (KAC) built on its SIP 1 processes to increase the proportion of bachelor’s-prepared nurses in Kansas and created processes to engage nurses as leaders within their organizations. The KAC partnered with the Kansas Collaborative Council, a group representing licensed practical nurses and RN pre-licensure, RN-to-BSN, and graduate nursing programs in Kansas. Through this collaboration the KAC increased the utilization of the products from its SIP 1 project to promote academic progression from associate degree to baccalaureate nursing programs. Included in these products were messaging materials as tools to be used for associate degree nursing faculty to promote academic progression when advising students.
The KAC also partnered with the University of Kansas Hospital to develop and implement the Kansas Nurse Leader Residency Program (KNLR) for nurses in acute care, long-term care, public health, and school health across the state. The Action Coalition utilized experts from these four practice areas to review and update the original nurse resident program to ensure that it would meet the needs of nurses working in these areas across the state. The Action Coalition also identified four regional leaders to help recruit nurses statewide to ensure that the program would be relevant to RNs living in rural, urban, and suburban comminutes. A six-month program included three in-person meetings, four online modules, and a final meeting in the central portion of the state. Program topics include teamwork and relationship-building, human resources, quality and safety initiatives, program management, budget and finances, and policy and advocacy. Participants worked with a mentor and had to implement a small change initiative that would be impactful and address an important issue facing their respective unit, organization, or community. Projects included minimizing falls in a nursing home, identifying elevated lead levels in children in a community, and implementing a sepsis assessment and management program in a critical access hospital emergency department. Upon completion of the program, nurse residents expressed interest in participating in an advanced leadership program and encouraged their colleagues to enroll in future KNLR programs.