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Senior Health Adviser to Provide Keynote at Inaugural Future of Nursing Summit

With more than 3 million members, the nursing profession represents the largest segment of our nation’s health care workforce. In Iowa alone there are more than 45,000 registered nurses (as compared to 5,500 physicians in the state). Although nurses work collaboratively with physicians and other health care providers, there is a common misconception that they simply assist physicians. Nurses operate independent of other health care disciplines. Nurses’ roles range from direct patient care and case management to establishing nursing practice standards, developing quality improvement strategies and directing complex patient care systems.

Recognizing that the nursing profession faces several challenges in fulfilling the promise of a reformed health care system and meeting the nation’s health needs, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) established a two-year initiative specifically focusing on “the future of nursing.”

In connection with this initiative, Susan Hassmiller, senior adviser of nursing for RWJF and director for the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, will be providing the keynote address at the first ever Future of Nursing Summit in Des Moines on Thursday, November 3rd, 2011. 

In addition to Dr. Hassmiller’s presentation, this inaugural summit will feature a work session to develop specific strategies to prepare Iowa’s nursing workforce for future health care demands and provide direction for Iowa to join the more than 30 states that have already become part of state-based collaborations called Action Coalitions – which were created to help advance recommendations from report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health

Released in October, 2010, this groundbreaking report has served as a blueprint for transforming the American health system by strengthening nursing care and better preparing nurses to help lead reform, according to RWJF. Key outcomes in the RWJF-funded IOM report include a recommendation to increase the percentage of nurses in the workforce with a BSN degree or higher to 80 percent by 2020, while at the same time doubling the number of nurses with doctorates.

The Future of Nursing Summit will take place in Des Moines from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Hy-Vee Hall, 730 3rd St. (part of the Iowa Events Center).  

More information about the Action Coalitions and the IOM/RWJF report can be found at and

Information about the Institute of Medicine’s Future of Nursing report is available at

For more information about the November 3rd Summit, please contact Kathryn Dorsey at the University of Iowa College of Nursing: 319-335-7008 or

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About Susan Hassmiller
Susan B. Hassmiller, PhD, RN, FAAN, is the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) senior adviser for nursing, shaping and leading the Foundation’s strategies to address the nurse and nurse faculty shortages in an effort to create a higher quality of patient care in the United States. She also serves as director of the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, an unprecedented initiative to engage stakeholders nationwide in improving the quality of patient care by fully utilizing the expertise and experience of nurses. The Campaign for Action builds on the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, for which Hassmiller served as the study director.  

Previously, Dr. Hassmiller was with the Health Resources and Services Administration, where she was the executive director of the U.S. Public Health Service Primary Care Policy Fellowship and worked on other national and international primary care initiatives. She also has worked in public health settings at the local and state level and taught public health nursing at the University of Nebraska and George Mason University in Virginia.

About the Future of Nursing
Since its October 2010 release, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health has made considerable impact on the way stakeholders are viewing the nursing workforce. Thirty-six states now have campaign-designated Action Coalitions comprised of nurses and other health care providers, consumer advocates, policy-makers and business, academic and philanthropic leaders. The Future of Nursing is now the single most viewed online report in the history of IOM, registering more than 62 million media impressions.

About RWJF
As the nation's largest philanthropy devoted solely to the public's health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has a unique capability and responsibility to confront the most pressing health and health care problems threatening our society. Its efforts focus on improving both the health of everyone in America, and their health care—how it's delivered, how it's paid for, and how well it does for patients and their families. More information is available at

About IOM
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) is an independent, nonprofit organization that works outside of government to provide unbiased and authoritative advice to decision-makers and the public. To learn more, visit

Posted On: 
Oct 21st, 2011