From 1996 to 2002, a coalition of Arizona health care organizations worked to strengthen the state's nursing education programs and nursing workforce.
This effort was part of Colleagues in Caring: Regional Collaboratives for Nursing Workforce Development—a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) national program initiated in 1994 to address nursing education and workforce issues at the regional level.
Under the grant, Project staff accomplished the following:
- Developed a Nursing Workforce Information System to track the state's nursing workforce data and the Arizona Forecasting Model to assess the state's future nursing needs.
- Northern Arizona University and five rural community colleges created a consortium to bring baccalaureate nursing education to rural Arizona.
- Consolidated five Phoenix community college nursing programs—each with its own admission requirements and curricula—into one program offered at six locations.
- Established new partnerships between nursing practice and nursing education to help develop the state's nursing workforce. One example is the use of hospital personnel to assist short-staffed faculty with teaching responsibilities.
- Developed a five-year workforce improvement initiative, the Campaign for Caring, endorsed by the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association.