Introduction

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) announced in August 2014 that Montana was chosen to receive another $300,000, two-year grant in Phase II of its Academic Progression in Nursing program (APIN). APIN is advancing state and regional strategies aimed at creating a more highly educated, diverse nursing workforce. This program is managed by the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) on behalf of the Tri-Council for Nursing, consisting of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the National League for Nursing, American Nurses Association, and AONE, which is leading the four-year initiative.  The Montana grant was made to the Montana Office of Rural Health and Area Health Education Center in Montana State University (MSU) College of Nursing on behalf of the Montana Action Coalition.

The MT APIN program’s primary focus for the next two years will be on nursing education, specifically developing a model of nursing education that fosters “seamless” transition from one level nursing education to the next. Montana’s vision for the model of nursing education in Montana is that:

  • There will be a statewide nursing education model that maximizes academic progression towards BSN and graduate nursing degrees to meet the changing health care needs of Montanans;
  • ASN students have the competencies and are academically prepared to move into a bachelor’s degree nursing program; and
  • BSN students have the competencies and are academically prepared to progress toward graduate education.

Ultimately, the goal of MT APIN’s program aligns with the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation that 80 percent of the nursing workforce be prepared at the baccalaureate level or higher by the year 2020.

Objectives (2014-2016)

  1. Work with nursing leaders from education and practice to create a model of nursing education that will enable academic progression from LPN to ASN to BSN to masters and doctoral levels.

  2. Expand current mentoring programs to reach more RN to BSN students and new BSN graduates entering the workforce.

  3. Increase the number of Native Americans that are in Montana nursing education programs and nursing leadership positions by July 2016.

  4. Develop a comprehensive sustainability plan for academic progression in nursing strategies throughout the state of Montana.

  5. Increase employer support of and engagement in academic progression in nursing initiatives in Montana through changes in practice and policy, participation in coalition leadership, and expanded involvement in preceptor and mentor opportunities.

  6. Expand the depth and breadth of the MT CAHN Preceptor Continuing Education and Recognition Program to academic/practice partnerships in each of the five MHA Regions of the state.

Outcomes (2012-2014)

  • Montana APIN team conducted a preliminary nurse employer survey to 48 CAHs and 11 non-CAHs to help establish baseline data on the perspective of nurse education and education incentives in fall 2013.  More specifically, the survey tool was designed to assess employer preference for nurse education level, facility incentives offered to pursue BSN level education and training in addition to basic demographic measures such as facility location and facility size.  Results showed that 15% of the 48 CAHs and 62% of the 11 non-CAHs in Montana prefer to hire BSN nurses.  Moreover, 72% of the 48 CAHs and 83% of the 11 non-CAHs offer incentives for nurses to get a BSN (Click to see full survey results).
  • MT APIN team members met with all schools of nursing to share information about APIN.  From these meetings, common barriers and facilitators of academic progression in nursing were identified and shared with stakeholders throughout the state.  Quarterly discussions with nursing program directors led to a common objective across programs:
    • Develop a statewide nursing education model that maximizes academic progression towards BSN and graduate nursing degrees to meet the changing health care needs of Montanans.
  • APIN team traveled over 3,500 miles across the state to host eleven regional meetings to discuss current and future needs for nurses in Montana. APIN work was communicated with over 200 individuals during the regional meetings and over 100 individuals at the Montana Nursing Education Summit. Regional qualitative data was collected from each meeting and presented at the Summit (See Regional Meeting Compiled Data).
  • Developed recommendations for admission standards at ASN and BSN programs which are being incorporated into the statewide model plan.
  • Developed recommendations for admission standards at ASN and BSN programs which are being incorporated into the statewide model plan.
  • Developed Montana APIN Preceptor Program, an online CE based course for current preceptors in MT. Developed Montana APIN Mentoring Program and the Art of Mentoring Workshop in October 2013 for RNs enrolled in a MT baccalaureate nursing program. Both the mentoring and preceptor programs have been presented multiple times at a national level.  

Partners

Funder

RWJF Logo
Action Coalition Header
Montana Campaign for Action
Casey Blumenthal and Cynthia Gustafson
MT CAHN Logo
MT CAHN
Casey Blumenthal and Cynthia Gustafson

MT APIN Team

Member

Position/Organization

Kristin Juliar, MA

Director of Montana Office of Rural Health/Area Health Education Center; Principal Investigator

Rita Cheek, RN, PhD

Emeritus Faculty at Montana State University; Co-Project Director

Sandra Kuntz, PhD, APRN, PHCNS-BC

Associate Professor at Montana State University; Co-Project Director

Cynthia Gustafson, RN, PhD

Executive Director of Montana Board of Nursing; Co-Lead

Casey Blumenthal, MHSA, RN, CAE

Vice President of MHA; Co-Lead

Kailyn Dorhauer, MHA

Montana Office of Rural Health/Area Health Education Center; Project Coordinator