The APIN Learning Process

The APIN program began as a laboratory for testing approaches to achieve the IOM’s recommendation that the nation achieve an 80% baccalaureate prepared nursing workforce.  While the program’s objective was clear, the path for achieving that goal was intentionally not defined from the outset. In the “Early Project and Initial Role of the National Program Office Section,” the process for the solicitation and selection of grantees is discussed. The NPO worked closely with each selected grantee team to identify necessary stakeholders and ensure their engagement in early project phases.  Structural support was also key in ensuring that the project teams, often spread across multiple institutions, we adhering to agreed upon work plans and regularly benchmarking progress. The NPO synthesized a set of “essential elements for success” to help each project team build capacity and enhance the success of their efforts.

The ”Iterative Learning and Evolution of the Program” explores what the program did to expand the learning collaborative through cooperation with other innovators working in academic progression. This included close collaborations with the Center to Champion Nursing in America, at AARP, the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, RWJF’s State Implementation Program grantees, and other important innovative programs across the country. The critical role of practice partners continued to be an area of opportunity for most project teams, as practice partner engagement in academic progression implementation remained highly varied across sites.

Key partnerships emerged with both national and local organizations, thought leaders, and content experts – notably, the Organization for Associate Degree Nursing (OADN). The program office worked with all stakeholders to identify and address perceived barriers to academic progression, including BSN general and pre-requisite courses, the facts and fiction regarding academic progression and national nursing accreditation, and concerns regarding regulation of community college and university academic progression pathways. This section also examines the role that setting a stretch goal of an 80% BSN RN workforce played in galvanizing teams and in helping stakeholders coalesce around a common goal.

Each individual APIN grant also had a unique role in contributing to the overall learnings of the program. While establishing academic progression pathways were the goal of each grant, each state-based APIN team worked in their own way to develop the needed supportive infrastructure to better ensure students’ success in these pathways.  These pages provide more detail about those supportive strategies, which include components like messaging the importance of the BSN, working with employers to incentive and promote academic progression, diversity and inclusion, mentoring, precepting, student advising, and financial aid. Those using this website are encouraged to explore each individual APIN project to examine the different approaches for implementing academic progression partnerships.

The APIN program funded nine states doing innovative work to advance seamless academic progress to baccalaureate degrees and beyond. These nine states, including California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Montana, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Texas and Washington State, are leading the country by implementing new education pathways to meet the demand for baccalaureate prepared nurses, as recommended by an Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.