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The Academic Progression in Nursing (APIN) was a grant-funded program sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). The Foundation of NYS Nurses was one of nine recipients and the first round of funding was from August 2012 – 2014 and the second round of funding was from August 2014 – 2016.

News Release, August 20, 2012:

CONTACT:    Lisa Lederer, (202) 371-1999

The Foundation of NYS Nurses Receives a $300,000 Grant to Create a More Highly Educated Nursing Workforce

The Foundation of NYS Nurses will target funds from a two-year $300,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to support the NYS Future of Nursing Action Coalition’s efforts to help current and future registered nurses (RNs)  to advance their academic nursing preparation.  The funds will promote the replication of a successful collaboration between the associate degree program at St. Joseph’s College of Nursing and the upper-division bachelor of science (BS) degree program in the Department of Nursing at Le Moyne College, both in Syracuse, NY.  This model is designed with a 1+2+1 sequence by which an Associate Degree and licensure can be obtained at the conclusion of the third year of study and requires only one additional year to obtain the BS degree. Since its inception six years ago, other nursing programs across the state have begun or are interested in replicating the model.  This grant will increase the number of RNs pursuing the BS in currently established partnerships and expand the number of partnerships. “This project will enable the originators of this model to establish an educational collaborative with public and private sector colleges and their practice partners to further implement this model in other rural and urban areas of the state. With an over 70 percent completion rate, higher than any RN to BS model being utilized in the country, increasing the number of involved partners will significantly contribute to New York’s effort to achieve the Institute of Medicine’s goal of having 80 percent of RNs prepared with a bachelor’s degree by 2020,” stated Cathryne A. Welch and Robert F. O’Connell, NYS Action Coalition co-leads.



Nine States Receive Grants to Build a More Highly Educated Nursing Workforce

Tri-Council for Nursing Leads Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-Funded Program, Which Will Support ‘Action Coalitions’ in CA, HI, MA, MT, NM, NY, NC, TX, and WA State

Princeton, N.J. —The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) today announced nine states that have been chosen to receive two-year, $300,000 grants through its new program, Academic Progression in Nursing (APIN). APIN will advance state and regional strategies aimed at creating a more highly educated, diverse nursing workforce. It is run 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, the American Nurses Association, and AONE, which is leading the $4.3 million, Phase I two-year initiative.  RWJF will support an additional two years of work at the close of Phase I, to help states that have met or exceeded their benchmarks continue to make progress.

The states chosen for the new grants are California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Montana, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Texas, and Washington state. Each will now work with academic institutions and employers on implementing sophisticated strategies to help nurses get higher degrees in order to improve patient care and help fill faculty and advanced practice nursing roles.  In particular, the states will encourage strong partnerships between community colleges and universities to make it easier for nurses to transition to higher degrees. 

In its groundbreaking report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommended that 80 percent of the nursing workforce be prepared at the baccalaureate level or higher by the year 2020.  At present, about half of nurses in the United States have a baccalaureate or higher degree. While acknowledging the contributions of Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses and associate-degree-prepared Registered Nurses to health care, the IOM report says that a better-educated nursing workforce is needed to ensure that our nation’s population has access to high-quality, patient-centered care.

“The nation needs a well-educated nursing workforce to ensure an adequate supply of public health and primary care providers, improve care for patients living with chronic illness, and in other ways meet the needs of our aging and increasingly diverse population,” said Pamela Austin Thompson, MS, RN, CENP, FAAN, national program director for APIN, chief executive officer of AONE and senior vice president for nursing at the American Hospital Association.  “We have great confidence in the nine states that will receive these grants to implement bold and effective strategies that will work in their states and create models that other states can utilize.”

RWJF is also helping advance recommendations in the IOM report by supporting The Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action. The Campaign for Action is a collaborative effort to advance solutions to challenges facing the nursing profession in order to improve quality and transform the way Americans receive health care. It is coordinated through the Center to Champion Nursing in America, an initiative of AARP, the AARP Foundation, and RWJF. It supports 49 state-based Action Coalitions around the country, and Action Coalitions are leading the APIN work in each of the nine funded states.

“Our state Action Coalitions are bringing nursing and other key leaders together to ensure that nurses have critical competencies, including leadership, cultural competence, interprofessional collaboration, and quality and safety, and to increase the diversity of the nursing workforce,” said RWJF Senior Adviser for Nursing Susan B. Hassmiller, PhD, RN, FAAN.  “We are pleased to be able to provide financial support to nine of the Action Coalitions that are doing highly effective work on academic progression. Advancing a more highly educated, diverse workforce where nurses are able to practice to the top of their education and training is essential to achieving the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s mission to improve health and health care in this country.”

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and healthcare issues facing our country. As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, measurable, and timely change. For 40 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. For more information, visit Follow the Foundation on Twitter at or Facebook at


About the Tri-Council for Nursing

The Tri-Council for Nursing is an alliance of four autonomous nursing organizations each focused on leadership for education, practice, and research. The four organizations are the: American Association of Colleges of Nursing; American Nurses Association; American Organization of Nurse Executives; and the National League for Nursing. While each organization has its own constituent membership and unique mission, they are united by common values and convene regularly for the purpose of dialogue and consensus building, to provide stewardship within the profession of nursing. These organizations represent nurses in practice, nurse executives, and nursing educators. The Tri-Council’s diverse interests encompass the nursing work environment, health care legislation and policy, quality of health care, nursing education, practice, research, and leadership across all segments of the health delivery system.


To learn more about the APIN grant visit these resources:

NY APIN Final Report

NY Clinical Practice Partners survey 2013

NY 2015 Clinical Practice Partners Survey

Nursing Profession Resource Guide. print copy

Publications of Interest:

Perceptions of Dual Degree Partnerships in Nursing (DDPN) Students and Alumni About Their Education and Practice Experiences by Kattiria M. Gonzalez                                                          DDPN Manuscript.K.Gonzalez.09.20.17