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Future of Nursing Depends on Scalable Solutions

How do you create something sticky enough to generate meaningful change? That question is at the center of the American Nurses Foundation’s Reimagining Nursing Initiative and one our grantees are attempting to answer.

The Reimagining Nursing Initiative is fundamentally about scale. While there are many areas for innovation in nursing, the Initiative will first focus on three priority areas (education, technology, and reimbursement) as they present a unique opportunity for wholesale, replicable change.

Scale is bold, but it’s also risky. It requires nurse innovators to imagine the impossible and create solutions that work wherever health care is delivered. “It’s all about far-reaching change and letting go of what we think can’t possibly change,” said American Nurses Foundation Executive Director Kate Judge.

The Initiative is initially funding ten projects for three years, and in early 2025, each project will deliver evidence demonstrating its impact. Each project will also provide tools to facilitate the adoption of their solutions within the profession. The Initiative aims to bring the most successful project to scale with the eventual goal of industry-wide adoption.

Here are some examples of how the projects are seeking to scale their ideas and create broad transformational change

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Disrupting Nursing Education with XR, AI, and ML
Led by The Ohio State University College of Nursing, the project uses extended reality, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to ensure students have and can demonstrate the skills they need post-graduation. The pilot project hopes to address practice readiness, one of the Initiative’s focus areas.

In the next two years, the project will confirm that technology-enabled learning tools improve practice-readiness and competency in graduating nurses. The Ohio State University will create publications, presentations and resources informed by the lessons they learned, allowing other nursing programs across the country to replicate their model.

The goal is to prove this model and the use of innovative learning tools are sustainable, says Michael Ackerman, PhD, RN, FCCM, FNAP, FAANP, FAAN, who leads the project. “By 2025, we will have nailed practice readiness, and most importantly, we’ll be able to provide more education of this type.”

CONCERN Implementation Toolkit
CONCERN (Communicating Narrative Concerns Entered by RNs) is a predictive tool that analyzes nurses’ notes within hospitalized patients’ health records and the frequency nurses make those notes so care teams can prevent tragic patient health outcomes.

With funding from the Reimagining Nursing Initiative, the project is partnering with three major health systems in different geographic locations to collect data that will facilitate large-scale adoption of CONCERN. Among the data the team is collecting is information on how to mitigate potential biases related to race, gender, and insurance level. This is essential for ensuring CONCERN is an equitable tool.

In the next few years, the CONCERN team hopes the data they gather will allow CONCERN to be deployed wherever nurses provide care. “Hopefully, we will have started moving CONCERN to other patient populations,” said Kenrick Cato, PhD, RN, CPHIMS, who helped develop the tool. “Further down the line, I hope it’ll support nurses in mental health settings so we can look at better predicting psychiatric deterioration.”

Compassionate Care On-Demand
Navi Nurses, an Arizona-based nursing startup, help hospitalized patients transition home with the support of a skilled and compassionate nurse. The process begins at discharge and continues in the comfort of each patient’s home.

Before receiving funding from the Reimagining Nursing Initiative, this service was only available to people who could afford to pay for it. The Initiative’s support enables Navi Nurses to serve patients free of charge. The project team is collecting evidence to prove to payers that this service should be covered for everyone, as it also promises to reduce hospital readmission, which can be very costly.’ Navi’s project, Compassionate Care On-Demand, will allow Navi Nurses to expand its patient base and the areas they serve while functioning as a replicable model for other nurse entrepreneurs.

“I see the project growing across the country in different markets and impacting nurses and patients,” said Jasmine Bhatti, PhD(C), MS, RN, founder of Navi Nurses. “I look forward to building more partnerships with nurses who are aligned and doing the same sort of work that has an incredible social impact.”

The American Nurses Foundation’s Reimagining Nursing Initiative is about the now and the future

A replicable model is key—it’s the sticky component that will allow the projects and future iterations of them to exist in various health care settings—supporting nurses and nursing students in their path to improve the profession and the lives of people in their care.

If you’re interested in following the projects as they reimagine the profession, sign up for the Reimagining Nursing Initiative newsletter here.

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