SOURCE: California Institute for Nursing & Health Care

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September 26, 2013 18:41 ET

Landmark Report on Nurse Roles and the Affordable Care Act Released: Identifies Top New Roles for California's Registered Nurses

OAKLAND, CA--(Marketwired - September 26, 2013) - Today the California Institute for Nursing and Health Care released its landmark report, Nurse Role Exploration Project: The Affordable Care Act and New Nursing Roles, identifying top new roles for Registered Nurses (RNs) in the era of health care reform. The paper, funded by a grant from the California Wellness Foundation (TCWF), is the result of 9 months of research and collaboration with leaders in healthcare from across the state of California.

The top new roles identified as most important for RNs to take on to meet the rapidly expanding demand for health care services in California are:

  • Care coordinator
  • Faculty team leader
  • Informatics specialist
  • Nurse/family cooperative facilitator
  • Primary care provider

In January 2014, more than 5.5 million additional Californians will become eligible for health insurance coverage through the ACA, but too few primary care providers currently exist to deliver services for them. As the largest provider group in California with over 400,000 RNs licensed in the state, RNs represent one of the greatest opportunities to rapidly expand capacity within the healthcare delivery system and meet the challenges of greater demand for services. The objective of the Nurse Role Exploration Project was to address the gaps in care delivery by identifying corresponding new roles for RNs.

The new roles for RNs were identified through a multi-step process designed to elicit possibilities from a cross-section of professionals most directly involved in nursing and healthcare. The process began with a series of facilitated convenings across the state that involved representatives of academia, practice, government, payers and consumers. Survey work was conducted to determine additional key information, to verify consensus on the resulting recommended new roles, and to gather input on steps to actualize them.

Judith G. Berg, RN, MS, FACHE, CINHC's Executive Director, noted, "The Nurse Role Exploration Project has opened the door to robust conversation about how Registered Nurses can contribute to improved levels of health, as envisioned by the Affordable Care Act. The new roles identified through this project have the potential to increase access to health care for the millions of Californians who will become eligible for health care insurance in 2014, and as a result there is a sense of urgency to begin efforts to implement them."

A complete copy of the report is available on the CINHC website at

The California Wellness Foundation (TCWF) was created in 1992 as a private independent foundation, TCWF's mission is to improve the health of the people of California by making grants for health promotion, wellness education and disease prevention.

The California Institute for Nursing and Health Care (CINHC), founded in 2001, is California's nationally recognized nursing workforce center. CINHC is dedicated to transforming the capacity of nurses to meet the evolving health needs of Californians by partnering with nurse leaders, educators, providers, payers, policy leaders and consumers to develop practical solutions which increase nurses' effectiveness in providing care.

Executives from the CINHC are available for comment. For more information contact Judith Berg, Executive Director, 510-832-8400 or OR Mary Dickow, Project Director, 415-307-9476 or

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