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Investing In the Next Generation of Nursing Leaders

By November 9, 2015March 25th, 2022Community

Nurses play a critical and evolving role in health care delivery, and the Independence Blue Cross Foundation (the Foundation) is leading the way for nurses pursuing teaching or clinical practice roles to educate the next generation of health care leaders. Through our Nurses for Tomorrow program, we’re proud to partner with 22 nursing schools in southeastern Pennsylvania and award more than $1.5 million annually in undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral scholarships, as well as student nurse internships.

Shaping the future of health care

Over the past decade, Independence Blue Cross and the Foundation have invested $17 million to support the advancement of nurses in their field. Since its launch in 2011, the Foundation has deepened its commitment to nursing education, introducing several new initiatives to support the development of nurse leaders:

  • Recognizing the importance and need for doctoral nursing faculty, in 2014 we partnered with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as the inaugural funder of the Future of Nursing Scholars Program.
  • In 2015 we expanded our commitment in nursing education by awarding $450,000 in new doctoral of nursing practice scholarships to help increase the number of nurse faculty for practice instruction.
  • We also launched the Nurse Leadership Lab for student nurse interns to explore and grow as nursing professionals.

Paradigms in Nursing Leadership conference

And that’s not all. We’re co-presenting our first national nursing conference — Paradigms in Nursing Leadership — on November 10 with the National League for Nursing. The conference is a free forum hosted at the Pennsylvania Convention Center Ballroom to discuss the transformation of leadership in nursing and the transferability of nursing skills to fields beyond practice settings.

The Paradigms in Nursing Leadership conference attracted speakers from national nursing organizations, policy, health systems, and more:

  • The National League for Nursing
  • American Academy of Nursing
  • American Nurses Association
  • American Association of Colleges of Nursing
  • American Organization of Nurse Executives
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • Pennsylvania Department of Health
  • IBM Healthcare Global Business Services
  • CVS Health – Minute Clinic

Participants will explore key themes such as preparing nurses to lead change in the health care system through policy, practice, and education, and identifying the competencies that are needed for nurses to advance to leadership positions and successfully drive change.

We look forward to sharing insight from our conference and we encourage you to join the conversation. We’ll be live-tweeting on November 10 using the hashtag #NurseLeaderPHL, so be sure to follow us on Twitter.

Did You Know?

  • Nationally, the shortage of registered nurses is 8.1 percent.¹
  • By 2025, our nation is expecting a shortage of 260,000 registered nurses, a shortage twice as severe as any our nation has seen since the 1960s.²
  • In Pennsylvania, the nursing shortage is expected to reach 14 percent by 2017.
¹Information adapted from the Mayo Clinic website
²Journal of American Medical Association, November 2, 2007
Rev. Dr. Lorina Marshall-Blake, MGA

Rev. Dr. Lorina Marshall-Blake is president of the Independence Blue Cross Foundation (Foundation), leading strategic, programmatic, and operational efforts to fulfill the Foundation’s mission to lead sustainable solutions that improve the health and wellness of the community. While overseeing grant-making work for the $90 million Foundation, Marshall-Blake steered the Foundation to be a collaborator, innovator, convener of diverse organizations, and thought leader in addressing emerging health needs in southeastern Pennsylvania.