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Wyoming Community Foundation Receives Grant to Address Wyoming Nursing Workforce Issues


August 31, 2011 — The Wyoming Community Foundation has been chosen as one of 11 foundations nationally to receive funding from Partners Investing in Nursing's Future. The program is a multi-year, multi-million dollar national investment to prepare America's nursing workforce with the skills needed to serve an older and more diverse population.

Led by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the Northwest Health Foundation, Partners Investing in Nursing's Future supports the capacity, involvement and leadership of local foundations to advance the nursing profession in their own communities. The program invests in local partnerships that create innovative model projects that can be tested, and if successful, shared nationally. Now in its sixth year of funding, Partners Investing in Nursing's Future has leveraged $14 million in grants by RWJF with more than $14 million in matching funds.

The Partners Investing in Nursing's Future grant for Wyoming will provide $225,000 in funding, with a $225,000 match in local and regional funding, for the next three years.

"Nurses are the cornerstone of our health care system," says Mary Burman, dean of the Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing at the University of Wyoming and project director for the grant. "We need to ensure that the 21st century nursing workforce is equipped with the right skills to serve a changing population."

The Wyoming Center for Nursing and Health Care Partnerships (WCNHCP) has forged local partnerships with a number of business, hospital and public health groups in an effort to create solutions for tackling nursing workforce issues specific to community needs.

The project focuses on enhancing the quality of nursing and health care in Wyoming by developing a competency-based statewide curriculum where students can earn an associate degree or continue seamlessly to the BSN degree (or higher). The project also will promote leadership development for nurses at all levels in a variety of settings by expanding the Wyoming Nurse Leadership Institute (WNLI).

The project's goals are closely aligned with the recommendations of a recent Institute of Medicine (IOM) report that seeks to prepare the nursing workforce to meet the needs of America's health care system and its patients and ensure an adequate supply of nurses for a growing, aging population.

"Our overall goal is to increase the number of nurses with baccalaureate degrees and to help nurses assume leadership roles in the redesign of health care in the U.S.," says Matt Sholty of WCNHCP.

For more information about Partners Investing in Nursing's Future, visit www.partnersinnursing.org. For more information about the project in Wyoming, call Sholty at (307) 766-6715 or email msholty@uwyo.edu.

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