Johnson Foundation (RWJF) scholars and fellows,1 who had attended the forum and participated in the site visits, met to consider solutions and the most promising future roles for nurses in acute care settings with respect to the subthemes of quality and safety, technology, and interdisciplinary collaboration. A summary of this session was provided to the committee for its review and consideration at the committee’s subsequent meeting in November 2009.


On December 3, 2009, the Initiative on the Future of Nursing held its second forum at the Community College of Philadelphia. This forum examined the challenges facing the nursing profession with regard to care in the community, including aspects of community health, public health, primary care, and long-term care. Members of the committee planning group for this forum believed that these topics were especially important to the committee’s work overall; as the health care system evolves, the provision of care is increasingly occurring in nonacute settings and is increasingly focused on disease prevention, health promotion, and management of chronic illnesses. Nurses who practice in community settings are vital to ensuring access to quality care.

More than 200 forum attendees heard a series of presentations from leaders in the field, including opening remarks from Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell and a keynote from Mary C. Selecky, Secretary of Washington State’s Department of Health (an agenda for this forum can be found in Appendix A). During the forum, committee members also heard testimony from 15 individuals representing a wide variety of organizations and personal viewpoints, as well as remarks made by a number of forum participants as part of an open-microphone session.

Key Themes

The forum presenters described a segment of best practices in the community that shed light on what is currently available and what will be required to meet the changing health needs of the diverse populations of this country. As a result of this forum, the committee was given an opportunity to consider how changing health needs in the community will affect the future of the nursing profession in terms of the way care is delivered, the settings in which care is provided, and


RWJF works to build human capital by supporting individuals who seek to advance health and health care in America. RWJF invited alumni of 17 of its scholar, fellow, and leader programs to participate in the Forum on the Future of Nursing. The alumni came from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines, including academia, service delivery, research, policy, and health plan administration. Many of the participants were alumni of the RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows Program and the RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholars Program. Non-nurse participants included alumni of the Investigator Award Program, the RWJF Health Policy Fellows Program, and the RWJF Clinical Scholar Program.

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