Mar 24, 2023

Achievements AL-HAC 2012-2019

From 2012 to 2019, the Alabama Health Action Coalition (AL-HAC) was led by: Lacy Gibson, Kathleen Lander, Carol Ratcliffe, Jane Yarbrough and Shaina Berry.

List of major accomplishments

Resources Produced by AL-HAC

Resources developed to inform the articulation of ADN students and nurses into and graduation from BSN and higher nursing degree programs:

  • Fact Sheets Show Nursing Workforce Advancements in the State (2017)
  • MSN Comparison Profile (2017)
    • This table showed a brief comparison of the Master of Science in Nursing programs at all accredited, non-profit nursing institutions with a physical campus in Alabama.
  • Terminal Nursing Degree Comparison Profile (2017)
    • This table showed a brief comparison of the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD), and Doctorate of Education (EdD) in Nursing degrees at all accredited, non-profit nursing institutions with a physical campus in Alabama. All information was obtained from the individual schools’ website.
  • Nursing Career Mapping Template (2017)
    • This template was created to provide students with a basic overview of nursing qualifications and degrees and the associated career path in Alabama.

Funding Resource Guide for Alabama Program Comparisons

This comprehensive guide was created to identify and facilitate the development of additional financial resources to support nursing education in Alabama. 

To create the most complete financial resource guide possible, the components were vetted through several AL-HAC stakeholders that work with colleges of nursing and are familiar the resources available to students at all levels of education. AL-HAC Chairperson for the Alabama 80×20 Taskforce, put out a call out for assistance to the Alabama 80×20 Taskforce, which has 43 members from schools of nursing varied across the state and in different program types (both 2 year ad 4 year institutions) with the expertise to provide resources. AL-HAC also collaborated with the president of the Alabama Council of Administrators of Professional Nursing Education Programs (ACAPNEP) and AL-HAC member, to identify new funding and scholarship support. A call for assistance to ACAPNEP whose membership includes all Community Colleges with Nursing Programs was advertised. Feedback from each group was used to add to AL-HAC’s resource guide information.

AL-HAC collected the contact information on every nursing program with a campus in Alabama’s financial aid office in an effort to guide students to seek out additional information at the nursing program they select that might assist identifying additional resources throughout a student’s BSN education. Website links were also added to maintain accuracy of the information and ease students’ ability to find further information.

Baseline Metrics Report (2012-2014)

Prior to AL-HAC’s Baseline Metrics report published in May 2015, nursing workforce data had not been interpreted or made publicly available since Alabama’s Center for Nursing Excellence closed in 2009. The Alabama Board of Nursing (ABN) partnered with AL-HAC by supplying raw, de-identified data from the 2012 and 2014 RN license renewal survey and the 2013 LPN license renewal survey. 

AL-HAC also used this information to track progression towards Alabama achieving 80% of RN nurses with a BSN or higher degree by the year 2020. AL-HAC was able to create the below chart to demonstrate Alabama’s progress towards this goal: The Baseline Metrics Report also highlighted the successes of Alabama such as a large percent increase (35.7%) in the number of RNs who were DNP prepared from 2012 to 2014.

The ABN databases were used to establish baseline demographics for RNs as reported in 2012 (n=58,263) and 2014 (n=66,662) and LPNs in 2013 (n= 16,488). Variables for the data collected included gender, race, ethnicity, age, Alabama county of residence, currently enrolled in a mobility program, highest degree earned, highest level of education, employment status in nursing, and primary place of work. The reported descriptive statistics were limited to the data as provided by the ABN where the data were not coded for data mining; there were gaps in responses; data were missing or unknown for some variables, such as for race in the 2013 LPN database; and, variables were not consistent from year to year, which hindered the ability to trend data.

As a result of this project, the presented baseline demographics established for RNs and LPNs in Alabama provided a starting point from which to compare future workforce planning demonstrated the absence of robust workforce data. AL-HAC presented the gaps in nursing workforce data to the Board Executive Director and made presentations surrounding the Baseline Metric Report and the facts that Alabama lacked the evidence to influence policy; enhance diversity; forecast the nursing workforce supply and demand, including nursing education program planning; or identify nursing shortage areas versus overly saturated areas within the state. 

Following this report, AL-HAC and ABN collaborated enhance the data collection on the nursing workforce. The ABN fulfilled AL-HAC’s recommendation with the implementation of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing and Nursing Workforce Center’s National RN Minimum Dataset (MDS) beginning with the 2015 LPN license renewal survey to utilize the standardized national tool, identify trends, and align Alabama with other states to compare progression in the future.

These new questions, altered to be applicable to LPNs, became voluntary part of the license renewal process. The RN MDS will also be implemented in the 2016 RN license renewal survey. AL-HAC and the ABN jointly published a one page Frequently Asked Questions sheet to LPNs in fall 2015 to provide information on the new section of the LPN licensing survey which consists of the MDS questions to nurses and provide contact information for further questions.

The following reports were created by AL-HAC from the raw, de-identified data supplied from LPN and RN license renewal surveys:

Nursing Student Faculty Diversity Report
Prior to this report, Alabama currently lacked a comprehensive survey that spanned all accredited, non-profit nursing institutions in the state that collects the information0necessary to establish a baseline and track the progress of increasing diversity in schools of nursing. The Nursing Student and Faculty Survey filled a data gap in Alabama on the diversity of Alabama’s nursing students and faculty.

AL-HAC vetted the survey tool with deans of Baccalaureate and higher nursing programs through the State of Alabama Association of Colleges of Nursing (SAACN). AL-HAC also vetted the survey through the Advancing Education Taskforce which represents deans, directors, and faculty of 2 and 4 year nursing programs in Alabama. The AL-HAC survey team gathered input from these groups and implemented feedback from the schools of nursing in an effort to optimize the survey’s response rate. 

After extensive vetting, AL-HAC sent the Nursing Student and Faculty surveys out in November 2017 to all accredited, nonprofit nursing programs with a physical campus in Alabama. The AL-HAC survey team gathered input from these groups and implemented their feedback in an effort to optimize the survey’s response rate. The survey was then circulated electronically and the report was published and presented throughout the following year.