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New initiative to support academic progression in nursing

Robert Wood Johnson foundation logoOn March 21, 2012, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) launched a $4.3 million initiative “to advance state and regional strategies to create a more highly educated nursing workforce.” Dubbed the Academic Progression in Nursing (APIN) initiative, its goal is to support an Institute of Medicine recommendation (The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health) that “80 percent of the nursing workforce be prepared at the baccalaureate level by 2020.”

It will be implemented by providing funding for nine “Acton Coalitions” across the country, each one working ”on at least one strategy related to academic progression and at least one related to employment for baccalaureate or higher-prepared nurses, to ensure demand for their services. Thus, academic-service partnerships are key to the success of this effort.”

From this author’s perspective, one question arises: are representatives for the libraries that will serve these students being included in these efforts? Some nursing professionals seeking their B.A. will likely enroll in online courses that allow flexibility in order to mesh with their own hectic schedules. Are library professionals going to be available for these new/returning students at all hours? How will they be taught the basics of information literacy applicable to earning such a degree? This initiative seems likely to bring many more into our libraries, and while we welcome the opportunity to serve, advance planning and coordination would greatly increase the likelihood of success for this initiative.

Are you or someone you know involved with an Action Coalition? How are libraries being included? Tell us!