New Jersey Action Coalition

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"Because you can't do it without nurses..."

(left to right) Susan Hassmiller, Senior Adviser for Nursing, RWJF; Mary Ann Christopher, President & CEO, VNSNY; David Knowlton, President & CEO, NJHCQI; Susan Bakewell-Sachs, Program Director, NJNI; Edna Cadmus, Director, DNP Program-Leadership at Rutgers University College of Nursing

The New Jersey Action Coalition has been convened to advance the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, organized by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in collaboration with the AARP and the AARP Foundation.

The nation cannot adequately address the challenges facing our health care system without also addressing the challenges facing the nursing profession.

That is why New Jersey is taking a leadership role on a national initiative to improve the quality of patient care by fully utilizing the expertise and experience of nurses—the largest segment of the U.S. health care workforce—and by enhancing their skills and education and their ability to work collaboratively with other providers to ensure high-quality, patient-centered care for all.

This new initiative, the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action builds on a groundbreaking 2010 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. The landmark report provides a blueprint for transforming the nursing profession to improve health care and meet the needs of diverse populations. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation supports and is committed to promoting the IOM report.

Working to bring the report’s recommendations to life are the newly created state Action Coalitions, each led by nursing and non-nursing leaders. The New Jersey Action Coalition is one of 48 around the country taking steps to advance change. The New Jersey Nursing Initiative serves as its coordinating office. 

Specifically, the New Jersey Action Coalition is piloting efforts to:

  • enable nurses to practice to the full extent of their education and training;
  • strengthen nurse education and training;
  • expand leadership ranks to ensure that nurses have a voice on management teams, in boardrooms and during policy debates;
  • improve health care workforce data collection to better assess and project workforce requirements.

This collaborative effort is led by a team of recognized and highly-respected leaders in health and health care: Edna Cadmus, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, clinical professor and director, DNP Program-Leadership Track of Rutgers University College of Nursing; Mary Wachter, RN, MS, and David Knowlton, president of New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute. 

New Jersey’s Action Coalition includes four volunteer-led work groups, each tasked with developing and implementing plans to advance one of the four goals identified as priorities. The Action Coalition draws its strength from nursing and non-nursing leaders working together to devise solutions.

The Campaign for Action envisions a nation in which all Americans have access to high-quality, patient centered care in a health care system in which nurses contribute as essential partners in achieving success. The New Jersey Action Coalition is working with leaders in health care, business, policy, education, labor and other sectors to make this a reality, “because you can’t do it without nurses.”

The New Jersey Action Coalition is based at the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce Foundation with support from the New Jersey Nursing Initiative. For more information on New Jersey’s Action Coalition, and to find out how you can get involved, please contact NJNI Deputy Director Jennifer Polakowski at