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UW Nursing School Receives Second Grant to Help Transform Health Care

March 5, 2015

The University of Wyoming’s Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing has been chosen to continue participation in a national initiative aimed at transforming nursing education.

The school’s Wyoming Center for Nursing and Health Care Partnerships will receive a second two-year grant -- of up to $150,000 -- through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) Future of Nursing State Implementation Program (SIP). The $7.65 million initiative is helping states prepare the nursing profession to address the nation’s most pressing health care challenges -- access, quality and cost.

SIP bolsters efforts already underway in 50 states and the District of Columbia -- through the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action -- to improve health and health care through nursing. A joint initiative of AARP and RWJF, the campaign is working to implement the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) evidence-based recommendations on the future of nursing.

The campaign provides a vehicle for nurses at all levels to lead system change to improve care for all through collaboration with business, consumer and other health professional organizations.

“We are very pleased to be continuing with this program and look forward to doing even more to implement the IOM’s future of nursing recommendations here in Wyoming,” says Mary Burman, dean of the Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing. “The work we are doing to transform nursing improves health care for everyone. We are grateful to RWJF for this support.”

Burman says the Wyoming Center for Nursing and Health Care Partnerships will focus over the next two years to implement ReNEW, a shared statewide curriculum that allows students to earn associate’s degrees and then continue seamlessly to BSN (or higher) degrees, starting at any of the community colleges and continuing to UW.

SIP grants go to state-based “action coalitions” that are making substantial progress toward implementing the IOM recommendations. The program now supports 33 state action coalitions.

“These grants have proven a wise investment, and we are confident that this additional support will lead to even more advances,” says Susan B. Hassmiller, RWJF senior adviser for nursing and director of the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action. “We are immensely proud of the work our action coalitions are doing to transform nursing education and practice, support nurse leadership and diversify the nursing workforce. RWJF is committed to building a culture of health so that everyone in America can live a healthier life, supported by a system in which nurses are essential partners in providing care and promoting health.”

Wyoming is one of 18 states to receive a second two-year grant. Other state action coalitions receiving funding are: Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah and Wisconsin.

All SIP grantees must obtain matching funds. The organizations that provide the matching funds for the grant to the Wyoming Center for Nursing and Health Care Partnerships are: the Area Health Education Center; Casper College; UW College of Health Sciences; Cheyenne Regional Medical Center; Central Wyoming College; Eastern Wyoming College; Ivinson Memorial Hospital; Northwest College; Sigma Theta Tau; Sweetwater County Memorial Hospital; UW Outreach School; Wyoming Medical Center; Wyoming Nurses Association; Western Wyoming Community College; Wyoming Community Foundation; Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing; and donations of time and funds from many individual nurses.

The Center to Champion Nursing in America (CCNA) -- an initiative of AARP, the AARP Foundation and RWJF -- serves as the national program office for the Future of Nursing State Implementation Program.

“We are so pleased to be able to add three new state action coalitions to this program and provide continuing support to 18 others,” says Susan Reinhard, senior vice president of the AARP Public Policy Institute and chief strategist at CCNA. “We expect this new funding will help realize our goal, to transform health care through nursing so we can improve health outcomes and well-being for individuals, families and communities.”

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