State Implementation Program

Phase: SIP 2 

Nurses leading change to improve health outcomes
for patients, families, and communities

Project Accomplishments:

This project focused on nurses’ roles in providing access to care and developing nurse leaders, with a concentrated effort on diversity.

A survey of all licensed Advanced Practices RNs  (APRNs) statewide allowed evaluation of practitioner characteristics, geographic locale, job activities, and populations served.  Important findings included an aging of the APRN workforce, with more than 40% over age of 55, and a lack of cultural diversity.  Practice settings were mapped, which demonstrated the majority of providers in areas of high population density.  Practitioners were found to be providing services primarily in outpatient primary care; however, substantial numbers also provided care in specialty services including mental health and palliative care.  Results of the survey informed development of tools to educate the public and legislative representatives about the importance of full practice authority for APRNs. Recommendations were made to foster improved diversification of the APRN workforce. The report provided data critical to development of human capital and workforce planning statewide.

Nursing leadership was addressed through the development of a one-year Illinois Nurse Leadership Fellowship program.  The program provided four in-person sessions, independent coursework, networking opportunities, and mentorship.  Topics included systems thinking, cultural inclusiveness, conflict resolution, project management, and lifelong learning.  Participants completed projects designed to improve quality of care.   The initial cohort had 23 participants and the second cohort had 25 participants, with a demonstrated improvement in gender and racial / ethnic diversity.




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