Five Nurses Celebrated for Leadership and Innovation in Advancing Health Equity - 2023 Equity-Minded Nurse Awards
A nurse educator in Maryland who centers health equity in classroom innovations and program implementation.
A nurse practitioner in Wisconsin who thrives on solving big issues that patients face by using nurse-created and inspired solutions.
A nurse scientist in Texas passionate about ensuring that research evidence translates into policy and practice to support health equity for communities of color and those affected by trauma and substance use.
A nurse educator in Kentucky whose 30-plus year career has focused on community engagement to advance health equity.
A nurse researcher in Connecticut who leverages eHealth and community engagement to enhance cardiovascular health equity in gay and bisexual men with HIV.
These five accomplished nurses are the recipients of the inaugural Equity-Minded Nurse Awards from the AARP Center for Health Equity Through NursingSM and the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, an initiative of AARP Foundation, AARP and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that is building a healthier America through nursing. The awards are part of the Campaign’s work to implement the goals of the National Academy of Medicine report, the Future of Nursing 2020-2030: Charting a Path to Achieve Health Equity, which explores nursing’s pivotal role in advancing health equity.
The awards are given in five categories and each is generously co-sponsored by a national nursing organization. The winners will receive a $1,000 prize each and paid travel to and recognition at the AARP Health Equity and Nursing Summit: Turning Commitments into Action, in Washington, DC, Oct. 31-Nov. 1.
The honorees are:
To Learn more about the awards, View AARP Website
The numbers leave little doubt that attention and systemic actions are required to address the nursing workforce challenges in Connecticut.
In 2022, Connecticut reported 89,819 active licenses for Registered Nurses, but only about half that number -45,014- are actively employed in a nursing capacity in Connecticut. This is according to a just-completed analysis by the CTData Collaborative and The CT Center for Nursing Workforce, Inc. in September 2023.
Nursing is the single largest job category within the field of healthcare. Licensed nurses provide high-quality, safe, and compassionate care within hospitals, long-term care facilities, homecare settings, and schools, as well as within community-based agencies throughout Connecticut. It is imperative that Connecticut adopt data-driven strategies to inform programming and innovative solutions to support a robust and sustainable nursing workforce to meet the healthcare needs of all Connecticut residents.
It is easy to assume that with more than 89,000 licensed Registered Nurses (RNs), Connecticut has more than a sufficient number of RNs to handle the increased need for care due to the aging of the Connecticut population and anything else that comes our way. Yet, we now understand, conclusively, that assumption would be wrong.
That is not the only alarm bell ringing. The data indicates that of the working RNs totaling 51,154, the age range comprises five generations from ages 20 to 96, with a median age of 47; and that 46% of the working RNs are 50 years and older.
The largest age group of working RNs is between 30-39 at 23% or 11,626; followed by 22% between the ages of 50-59; and most alarming, is that only 11% of the total pool of employed RNs are between the ages of 20-29. Connecticut does not have nearly the number of younger nurses needed to replace those who will be retiring within this decade.
The Connecticut Center for Nursing Workforce, Inc. (CCNW) was engaged in numerous state and national activities that took place over the past fiscal year. Due to a strong commitment by the CCNW Board of Directors, Council of Deans & Directors, Healthcare Simulation Network of Connecticut (HSNCT), and Staff & Nurse Consultants; CCNW was able to innovate, coordinate, and impact the nursing workforce in Connecticut and across the country.