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Tennessee Action Coalition

About Us

The TAC is at an important milestone.  We have advanced nurse leadership in the state for over five years through a variety of initiatives and we have begun to consider how to be successful in creating a Culture of Health in Tennessee.  We are currently assessing our priorities for the next five years and how we can have the most impact in improving health and health care.

 We are in the early stages of planning a strategic meeting with key Tennessee leaders and representatives from our national organization, the Center to Champion Nursing in America.  Stay tuned for details!


Our History

AARP-TN and the University of Tennessee College of Nursing joined forces in late 2010 to create the Tennessee Action Coalition. Other stakeholders who share our passion for high-quality, cost-effective care for all Tennesseans have joined the Coalition to hasten improvement in the Tennessee health care delivery system and promote improved patient outcomes. The Coalition’s blueprint for change is derived from the Institute of Medicine report titled The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health and uniquely tailored to Tennessee. The report recommendations focus broadly on nursing education, leadership, and practice, and inter-professional collaboration and aim to foster a transformation of the delivery of health care with nurses leading the way. The report also includes important recommendations related to workforce diversity, meeting the needs of an increasingly diverse population, and the need for robust data to guide decision-making.

Action Coalitions are selected based on a competitive bid process. No more than one Action Coalition may be commissioned per state, and each Action Coalition must include a non-nursing and nursing lead, as well as demonstrate the capability to manage the Coalition operations, convene stakeholders, and produce measurable results related to the Future of Nursing recommendations. The Tennessee Action Coalition received initial two-year funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) effective February 1, 2013, and was awarded an additional two years of funding in early 2015. RWJF funding is complemented by matching funds from a diverse group of Tennessee organizations and individuals.

In 2014 the board of directors of the Tennessee Action Coalition elected to examine progress to date and assess challenges and opportunities. The outcome was a decision to focus on nurse leadership and sustainability. The board has been re-configured to include individuals with the expertise needed for maximal impact. There is a new expectation that members of the council will engage strategically in Coalition management and activities. Efforts to strengthen ties with current partners and build new partnerships are underway. We have better articulated and streamlined program priorities. Through it all, the Coalition has remained committed to creating an environment that advances improvement in patients’ outcomes, promotes full utilization of nurses, and promotes stewardship of resources. The Tennessee Action Coalition is increasingly recognized as a convener, expert on the transformation of health care and the role of nurses, and advocate for Tennesseans.

Our Goal

The state of Tennessee faces many challenges and needs related to health and health care. We have an aging and more diverse population, more people with chronic conditions, and soaring costs. More Tennesseans will soon gain health care coverage, but we have a shortage of primary care providers, especially in some regions of the state. Nurses can help to address these challenges. However, we must better prepare nurses and deploy them efficiently to meet the health care demands of today and tomorrow. The Tennessee Action Coalition aims to be the driving force for the transformation of health care through nursing in our state.

TAC Strategic Plan

Our Initiatives

The state of Tennessee is challenged with relatively poor health system performance, access to primary care, and health status. Programs and activities provided by the Tennessee Action Coalition are designed to improve performance on these measures by equipping nurses with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to lead at all levels.

Advancing Nurse Leaders Through TAC programs and activities, we will provide leadership opportunities for nurses so they can lead efforts to promote safe and quality care. This initiative will hasten the transformation of the delivery of health care by 1) increasing the number of strategic nursing leaders serving on hospital and hospital system boards, 2) increasing the number of emerging leaders serving on professional and community boards, and 3) advancing IOM recommendations.

Nurses on Boards: One important venue for nurse leadership is board membership. We propose a layered approach to support strategic nurse leaders in securing hospital and hospital system board positions and emerging nurse leaders by equipping then with knowledge and skill to serve on community and professional boards via education and mentoring support.

Nurse Advocacy: The primary aim of this initiative is to advance IOM recommendations that seek to remove barriers that limit nurses from practicing to the full extent of their education and training for the purpose of expanding access to high-quality, cost-effective patient-centered care. We need to assure that we have enough nurses empowered to provide care that improves the health of Tennesseans. The TAC is active in supporting efforts by stakeholder partners, such as the Tennessee Nurses Association and AARP Tennessee, by providing educational and other support and resources to achieve Full Practice Authority.

Cultural Competency:  It is imperative that the nursing workforce has the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to deliver appropriate care to the diverse population of Tennesseans. The Coalition believes that nurses who participate in our programs and activities will better understand how their private and therefore patients’ values, beliefs and perspectives influence health behaviors and health decisions. Ultimately, this professional growth will help participating nurses to provide a higher quality of care to Tennesseans.

Our Progress

Since 2012, we have assembled an impressive board of diverse stakeholders, established strategic priorities, hosted a statewide kick-off, formed committees that will advance the Future of Nursing recommendations, participated in a National Summit, responded to numerous request to speak across the state about the Future of Nursing and the Tennessee Action Coalition, managed to securing funds for the operation of the coalition and the establishment of the Tennessee Nursing Institute for Leadership and Policy, and conducted a statewide survey on the Future of Nursing recommendations.

The Education Committee, working closely with the Tennessee Deans and Directors, has completed a survey of CNOs regarding BSN-prepared nurses. Another survey targeted current ADN and RN-to-BSN students to assess interest in RN-to-BSN programs. The Leadership Committee is planning a campaign to recruit 40 nurses under age 40 and collaborating with the Tennessee Nursing Institute for Leadership and Policy on a program on board membership. The Tennessee Organization of Nurse Executives (TONE) has provided significant support to the Leadership Committee and other activities of the Tennessee Action Coalition. Working closely to support the Tennessee Nurses Association, the Practice Committee is working to achieve full practice authority for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) in Tennessee.

In 2014 we were proud to offer multiple webinars as part of our Nurse Advocacy, Policy Making, and Full Practice Authority series (sponsored by Tennessee Nurses Foundation), two webinars in our Diversity Series, and a "40 Under 40" event in Murfreesboro, TN. 

In 2015, we were able to offer webinars and programs that aim to equip nurses with the skills necessary to pursue Full Practice Authority legislation for our state.

In 2016, we began our Standards of Practice for Culturally Competent Care webinar series . This webinar series is based on the Standards of Practice for Culturally Competent Nursing Care (2011), a universally applicable set of competence-based standards founded on a social justice framework, provide the basis for readying nurses to care for the increasingly diverse citizens of Tennessee.   These standards have been endorsed by the American Academy of Nursing Expert Panel on Global Nursing and Health and the Transcultural Nursing Society. In a similar fashion, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is leading the charge to promote a culture of health, an initiative recognizing that health is a part of every aspect of life and requires a shift in our values and actions to achieve this goal.

The Campaign for Action and the Tennessee Action Coalition co-hosted a national Culture of Health workshop on July 13-14, 2016, with representatives from nearly half the Action Coalitions. This session built on the success of the first Culture of Health meeting, held in Nebraska in June 2016, with many other Action Coalitions. The Knoxville gathering helped Action Coalitions understand how to link their work implementing the recommendations on the future of nursing from the Institute of Medicine with efforts to build a Culture of Health.

The Tennessee Action Coaltion has also brought regional Emerging Nurse Leader seminars to Memphis, TN and Nashville, TN with plans for a Chattanooga, TN meeting as well as a Knoxville, TN meeting. This is a great opportunity for selected nurses to learn how they can make a difference by becoming a nurse leader. 




We can't do this alone, so we hope you will join us in changing the landscape of healthcare in Tennessee!

Together, we can make a difference in the quality of lives of Tennesseans now and in the future.