The recent Campaign for Action Summit and the IOM Future of Nursing progress report proved an opportunity to reflect upon what the California Action Coalition (CA AC) has accomplished, and learn more about where the future will take us. Over the past five years the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action has provided technical support and advice to Action Coalitions across the nation. With that guidance and the unwavering support of a passionate group of volunteers, the CA AC has made significant progress toward implementing the recommendations set forth in the Institute of Medicine report The Future of Nursing.
Education: Increase the number of BSN prepared nurses by 80% by 2020
California has made significant progress on this recommendation. In just the past two years our efforts have resulted in an 8.3% increase: 61.5% of nurses in California now have a BSN or higher. We can attribute these truly exciting results to various collaborative models in place across the state.
Leadership: Prepare and enable nurses to lead change and advance health
We are very fortunate to have an active leadership workgroup that has created leadership competencies, led a number of important webinars, encouraged lifelong learning and inspired the next generation of nurse leaders. The LifeMoxie mentorship program created in partnership with ACNL and Kaiser Permanente has enabled 217 mentor/mentee pairs to take part in a robust program. Mentees work on projects with coaching and support. In addition, the nurses on boards survey tools have given us a mechanism to count the nurses in California currently serving on boards and to assess where we can provide support for preparing future board members.
Transition to Practice: Implement nurse residency programs
This is another area CA AC volunteers have worked tirelessly to create three important deliverables: standards and guidelines; a definitions document; and program tracking across California. Individuals who have participated in the transition to practice programs are finding jobs, often in nontraditional settings.
Practice: Remove scope of practice barriers
With the goal of all nurses able to practice to the full extent of their education and training, the practice group met regularly to ensure that timely attention was given to pending legislation. This group was instrumental in developing the APRN Coalition to create a united front to inform, educate and build common ground in relation to advanced practice bills. Members of this group also joined with AARP-CA on a broad coalition of stakeholders in efforts to build momentum related to advanced practice bills.
Next Five Years: A progress report released at the end of 2015 offered recommendations for continued efforts related to the implementation of The Future of Nursing goals. The progress report focused on challenges in the areas of scope of practice, education, leadership and diversity. In addition, members of the CA AC participated in the Campaign for Action Summit held in Washington, DC in December 2015. The Summit focused on the need to create a culture of health and building healthier communities. These two significant bodies of work highlight the importance of nurses leading the change for a healthier America.
Over the past year the California Action Coalition worked with HealthImpact to become a key initiative within the organization, with a common goal of positively influencing how health care is delivered in the state. HealthImpact’s mission statement, “To enhance the well-being of Californians through innovation, interprofessional leadership, and nursing excellence” is right in line with the future direction of the Campaign. Our goal is to focus on project-specific work as we continue to advance the Future of Nursing recommendations in California. With the guidance of the Advisory Committee we will focus on a dissemination plan for materials that have been created, continue our efforts in academic progression and residency programs, heighten our efforts to increase the number of nurses on boards as well as emerging leaders, and maintain our commitment to breaking down barriers to scope of practice and integrating the culture of health into our work.