With the creation of the Rhode Island Coalition for the Future of Nursing, we are witnessing the power that collaboration can have to solve problems in the 21st century.
Driven by a $3 million initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and AARP to improve health outcomes for the nation’s communities, the program is designed to help nurses gain access to better education while supporting effective – and cost-effective – primary care.
The host of Rhode Island organizations involved speaks to the need for the program, which will provide residencies for unemployed or underemployed nurses as well as new nursing-school graduates that reach beyond traditional acute care to include nursing care and community-health clinical care.
Twelve different stakeholders in the state’s health care system as well as The Rhode Island Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and, most importantly, the Governor’s Workforce Board have contributed a total of $645,500 to support the effort.
The program is seen as unique in the country for the breadth of its scope and has given some of the stakeholders a sense that it may be able to attract even more funding, which would help expand its size from the expected 20 residents in the first session this fall and 40 residents in the next session.
But even if this exciting new coalition is not able to garner more investments, it should stand as an example of how the public and private sectors should be able to leverage Rhode Island’s talents to solve major problems. All it needs is for someone to identify a clear goal and for each of the players to put aside their egos and put their shoulders into the effort. •
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