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The future of nursing--where is Georgia now?

The Institute of Medicine's report The Future of Nursing is almost four years old. It is still the most downloaded report ever produced by the IOM and almost every state has developed an action coalition to advance the recommendations from the report (you can see what is going on at http://

In Georgia, a summit was held in February 2011 and this helped form our action coalition--the Georgia Nursing Leadership Coalition (GNLC). Over the last three years, the action coalition has grown and had some important achievements, including obtaining a $150,000 State Implementation (SIP) Grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 2013 (partly thanks to many of you who contributed to the matching funds required by this grant!). The GNLC is one of only 20 states to be part of this $3 million Robert Wood Johnson Foundation initiative, which is designed to help states prepare the nursing profession to address our nation's most pressing health care challenges: access, quality and cost.

The GNLC is working on advancing all of the IOM recommendations, but is placing more emphasis on recommendations #1, 3, 4, 5, and 8 (see box below). As part of the SIP grant, the GNLC is focusing on doubling the number of doctorally prepared nurses by 2020 (IOM recommendation #5) and creating an infrastructure to collect and analyze data about the health care workforce in Georgia (recommendation #8). SIP grant funding has allowed the GNLC to hire a part-time coordinator as well as data analysis assistance. GNLC leadership collaborated with GNA, the Georgia Board of Nursing, and the Secretary of State's Office to change the survey presented to nurses when they renew their licenses so that we can gather data consistent with what is collected in other states. This went into effect in January of 2013, so we now have data about approximately half of the licensed nurses in Georgia--a huge achievement that will enable us to generate and disseminate preliminary reports about our state's nursing workforce. For recommendation #5, the GNLC is working to promote the value of doctoral education in nursing, collect information about doctoral programs in nursing in Georgia, and highlight our doctoral students and help them network. We plan to hold a Doctoral Student Symposium in the fall/early winter, 2014. The GNLC has made significant strides in three years and is positioned to advance nursing further and faster in the upcoming years.

IOM Future of Nursing Recommendations:

Recommendation #1

Remove scope of practice barriers for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses

Recommendation #2

Expand opportunities for nurses to lead and diffuse collaborative improvement efforts

Recommendation #3 Implement nurse residency programs

Recommendation #4

Increase the proportion of nurses with a baccalaureate degree to 80 percent by 2020

Recommendation #5

Double the number of nurses with a doctorate by 2020

Recommendation #6

Ensure that nurses engage in lifelong learning

Recommendation #7

Prepare and enable nurses to lead change to advance health

Recommendation #8

Build an infrastructure for the collection and analysis of interprofessional health care workforce data


by Rebecca M. Wheeler, RN, MA, PhD
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Title Annotation:Workforce Advocacy
Author:Wheeler, Rebecca M.
Publication:Georgia Nursing
Date:Feb 1, 2014
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