Jun 27, 2016

Idaho Celebrates, Continues to Move Forward at its Strategic Summit

On May 16-17, the Idaho Nursing Action Coalition held its second invitational strategic Summit. Idaho celebrated the progress it has made by announcing that recent workforce analysis reveals that 67% of the current Idaho nursing workforce has a baccalaureate degree or higher! However, this percentage varies widely across regions with rural communities not served by a brick and mortar BSN program having a significantly lower percentage of BSN prepared nurses in the workforce.

The purpose of the meeting was threefold:
  1. continue the work in progress to advance towards Idaho’s goal of reaching 80% BSN by 2020,
  2. critique the draft strategic plan for nursing in Idaho, and
  3. plan the development of the 2016 Idaho Nursing Overview, in partnership the Idaho Department of Labor and the Idaho Board of Nursing, which features supply, demand and educational workforce data.

Jenny Landen, MSN, RN, FNP-BC from New Mexico presented on the strategy to create community college and university partnerships that offer a BSN on community college campuses statewide. Participants also heard about an existing hospital, community college and university partnership in Idaho that has begun a dual enrollment model to facilitate academic progression. A representative from the State Board of Education was present for both days and offered clarification about board policies and the potential for stronger future partnerships. Work that is currently underway in hospitals and schools to increase the specialty nurse workforce was shared, and a representative from the Idaho Department of Labor provided information about future grant opportunities to address these workforce shortages.

Six workgroups were identified in order to advance the plan over the next year. Those workgroups will address:

  1. developing industry/education partnerships to address the specialty workforce shortage
  2. Articulating “Why a BSN Prepared Workforce
  3. Developing a nursing program consolidated advising website
  4. Increasing financial resources for AD to BSN students
  5. Working to streamline academic progression through curriculum
  6. Continued projection of the % BSN workforce data.

Over the next months, these workgroups will convene and begin their work with the support of the Idaho Nursing Action Coalition.