New Leadership for NJNI

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Aug 12, 2013

The New Jersey Nursing Initiative (NJNI) welcomed Aline M. Holmes, MSN, RN, and Susan W. Salmond, EdD, RN, ANEF, FAAN, on July 1 as program directors following the departure of Susan Bakewell-Sachs, PhD, RN, PNP-BC, who had served in that position since NJNI’s inception. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce Foundation launched NJNI in 2009 to address the state’s nurse faculty shortage and help avert the projected shortage of more than 23,000 nurses in New Jersey in less than two decades. 

“Aline Holmes and Susan Salmond bring exceptional skills and experience to NJNI,” said RWJF’s senior adviser for nursing, Susan B. Hassmiller, PhD, RN, FAAN. “Their passion for promoting the health and well-being of New Jersey’s citizens is apparent in their work, and that translates beautifully to the mission of NJNI: ensuring that a nurse will be there for you.”

Holmes is the senior vice president for clinical affairs at the New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA) in Princeton, as well as the director of the NJHA Institute for Quality & Patient Safety. She also serves as a principal investigator/project director for several patient safety improvement initiatives funded by RWJF and the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey, and directs NJHA’s efforts under a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services contract to serve as a Hospital Engagement Network in the Partnership for Patients national initiative. 

A U.S. Navy Nurse Corps veteran, Holmes completed her undergraduate studies in nursing at the University of Massachusetts and received her master’s of science in nursing from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. She is pursuing a doctorate in nursing leadership at Rutgers University. Her hospital background includes leadership roles in nursing administration, patient care services, and operations. She has also served as an advanced practice nurse, worked in long-term care and managed care, and held faculty appointments in New Jersey, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. 

“As a nurse and as an administrator, I’ve long known the fundamental role that nurses have in providing care and promoting health,” Holmes said. “I’m eager to tackle the challenges in New Jersey that NJNI has focused on so tirelessly for four years.”

Salmond is dean and professor at Rutgers School of Nursing (formerly the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey). She spearheaded development of New Jersey’s first doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree program, which was launched at the school in 2006. Under her leadership, the school has also established new master’s programs in clinical leadership, advanced community health nursing, advanced emergency nursing, and nursing education. Salmond serves as co-chair of the New Jersey Action Coalition’s Academic Progression Committee and has been a member of NJNI’s Leadership Council. 

 She received her bachelor’s of science in nursing from the Villanova University College of Nursing, which in 2012 presented her its highest honor, the College of Nursing Medallion. She is a 2012 inductee into the Hall of Honor at the Seton Hall University College of Nursing, where she received her master’s of science in nursing with a specialization in chronic illness management. She earned her doctor of education degree from Teachers College, Columbia University. 

“NJNI has made remarkable progress in fueling the pipeline of nurse faculty in the state,” said Salmond. “It’s an honor to assume the leadership of NJNI, with Aline Holmes, and build on its success.”

Bakewell-Sachs, who also until recently was interim provost of The College of New Jersey, has been appointed dean of the School of Nursing and vice president for nursing affairs at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. 

NJNI’s Faculty Preparation Program has supported 61 New Jersey Nursing Scholars who are pursuing, or have completed, master’s or doctoral degrees in New Jersey nursing programs. These nurses are now poised to assume nurse faculty roles in the state. 

NJNI launched, a website dedicated to nurse faculty career information. NJNI has also led the development of several clinical innovations projects across the state to more closely link nursing education and practice, including dedicated education units and renewed education for clinical preceptors. It has a key role in the New Jersey Action Coalition, which helps the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action implement recommendations from the Institute of Medicine’s landmark 2010 nursing report as part of a nationwide effort to transform nursing and the delivery of health care in America.

Promoting leadership is a high priority for NJNI, Salmond and Holmes both agreed.  “There are many parallels between NJNI and the New Jersey Action Coalition, in terms of education and faculty preparation, and I’d like to see those activities coordinated,” said Holmes. “One of the Action Coalition’s pillars is leadership, and I see NJNI having an increasingly vital role in developing future leaders. There is a great opportunity for professionals in this health care environment, with factors such as chronic conditions and community-based care. NJNI can cultivate leaders in this environment, but we have to provide people with the right skills.”

“I also see a focus on leadership in academia,” said Salmond. “What do future leaders need in their schools and communities in order to thrive? By engaging alumni scholars as well as new people, NJNI can move academic goals forward. It’s also important for NJNI to look at its success and see how it can be replicated elsewhere. Highlighting our partnerships and promoting awareness of curriculum innovations is a big part of what needs to happen going forward.”