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The Tennessee Action Coalition, an effort supported by UT’s College of Nursing and AARP Tennessee, will receive a second round of two-year grants in the amount of nearly $133,000 through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) Future of Nursing State Implementation Program.

The money is part of $7.65 million that RWJF has put toward helping states prepare the nursing profession to address our nation’s most pressing health care challenges—access, quality, and cost.

Formed in 2012, the Tennessee Action Coalition is composed of key leaders representing Tennessee academic institutions, businesses, consumer advocacy groups, and nursing and other health care provider organizations.

Carole R. Myers, an associate professor of nursing at UT, is a nursing leader for the Tennessee Action Coalition.

“The work we are doing to transform nursing improves health care for everyone. We are grateful to RWJF for this support,” Myers said, adding that the coalition will focus on nursing leadership over the next two years. “We will be working to increase the number of accomplished nurse leaders serving on boards of influence in health care and equipping the next generation of nurses to serve on community and professional boards to prepare them for the future.”

Victoria Niederhauser, dean of UT’s College of Nursing and board chair for the Tennessee Action Coalition, said the collaborative effort will benefit many.

“We are very excited to bring a coalition of stakeholders together with a common goal, to improve the health of people in Tennessee,” she said. “We are thankful to our multiple supporters who are helping to move nurses into key positions that will effect positive health changes.”

All entities that receive grants from RWJF’s Future of Nursing Program must find matching funds.

In Tennessee, organizations providing matching funds include the Hospital Corporation of America, the Memorial Foundation, the University of Memphis, the Tennessee Nurses Foundation, Community Health Systems, the Tennessee Hospital Association, the UT Health Sciences Center, select regional councils of the Tennessee Organization of Nurse Executives, and Sigma Theta Tau chapters.

“We appreciate the synergy of nurses and our members working together,” said Rebecca Kelly, state director of AARP Tennessee and Tennessee Action Coalition co-leader. “We have exciting plans for the Tennessee Action Coalition to offer programs and support to empower nurses to be effective advocates for change.”

Susan B. Hassmiller, RWJF senior advisor for nursing and director of the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, praised the work happening at the state level.

“These grants have proven a wise investment and we are confident that this additional support will lead to even more advances,” she said. “We are immensely proud of the work our action coalitions are doing to transform nursing education and practice, support nurse leadership, and diversify the nursing workforce.”


Carole Myers (865-974-7626,