• The long-awaited Northend Bypass which will connect the Billings Heights and Lockwood with a bridge across the Yellowstone River has been given a Record of Decision regarding the preferred route and sets the project in motion for eventual completion. The Montana Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration released the decision on Monday, identifying the preferred route as the
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  • Montana's economy seems to be slowing. The Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) at the University of Montana is projecting a 2.4 rate of growth for Montana in 2014, after readjusting their 2.7 percent rate in 2013 to 2.2 percent. BBER's lead economist, Dr. Pat Barkey explained during their mid-year update on the state's economy, that the newer data
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  •   Tricia Hansen has been promoted to assistant vice president, marketing department manager for Stockman Bank. She will oversee and manage the marketing department for Stockman Bank’s 32 locations. Her responsibilities include implementing the overall marketing strategies, public relations, sponsorships and advertising campaigns, and working directly with the Billings and Southwestern area markets.
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  • The remodeled and revamped "Granary" will open during the first week after Labor Day as "Bistecca at the Granary," under the ownership and management of Jim Bos and his son, Kevin. "Bistecca" means "steak" in Italian, which reflects the vision held by Jim and Kevin of continuing the operation of the landmark Billings restaurant as an Italian steak house, serving
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  • Alex Epstein, founder of the Center for Industrial Progress, will give the luncheon keynote speech, "Moral Case for Fossil Fuels," for the Montana Petroleum Association annual Petroleum Industry Appreciation Day Luncheon. The public is invited, on August 27, 11:30 a.m., at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Billings. The event is part of the Montana Petroleum Council's annual meeting, Aug. 26
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  • It was supposed to be just a side line. A project, that would take two or three months' work to put together. But, over thirteen years, it has taken on a life of its own. The Magic City Blues has become a big deal for Billings' entertainment, a year-long endeavor, and one family's mainstay business.
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  • Coo coo, coo coo- we've all heard that pleasant, yet almost mysterious, even haunting sound (late at night in a hallway) emanating from a wall in Grandma's house, or Aunty Em's kitchen, usually in a house with collectibles, antiques or a collection of notables and curios. A satisfying sound for many, an annoying sound for some, yet it is as
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  • There are several reasons Montana is lagging behind neighboring states when it comes to oil and gas development. While North Dakota maintains nearly 200 drilling rigs at any given time, Montana has struggled to keep rigs running. North Dakota issued over 2,500 drilling permits last year. Montana issued only 297. Considering these numbers, it should come as no surprise that
    Read More
  • Shiptons is building a new location in the Heights and a 3G's convenience store on Wicks Lane is constructing a new building. Local business of all kinds are expanding and growing as reflected in the report of those recently acquiring 504 Loans through the US Small Business Administration, as processed by the Big Sky Economic Development Corporation (EDC). Manager of
    Read More
  •   The big challenge in putting together an almost $100 million budget for Yellowstone County for fiscal year 2014-15 will be finding enough money to fund an addition to the county jail without asking the voters to approve a special mill levy. At the opening of a week of budget hearings on June 23, County Commissioner John Ostlund said that
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  • The Policy Coordinating Committee (PCC) gave local planners approval to pursue a railroad corridor study to address a number of transportation issues in downtown Billings. The study could prepare the community to apply for a TIGER grant in early 2015, should the federal Department of Transportation offer grants at that time. But, there is also another local entity interested in
    Read More
  • The consequences of drinking and driving are becoming increasingly life altering. Not only do drunk drivers pose a threat to the lives of other drivers and pedestrians, the legal penalties and career ramifications, when they get caught and cited, can change the entire course of their lives, as it did for a friend of Alex Crosby of Bozeman, Montana. Because
    Read More

Montana Gets 2-Year Grant for Nursing Education

Montana is one of nine states selected to receive a two-year, $300,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to help create a more highly educated and diverse nursing workforce.

 

According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the grants provide funds for nursing coalitions in each state to work with academic institutions and employers to help nurses earn advanced degrees. In particular, states will encourage strong partnerships between community colleges and universities to make it more efficient for nurses to transition to a baccalaureate degree and beyond. The ultimate goals are to improve patient care and help fill faculty and advanced practice nursing positions. In Montana, the goals for the first two years of the grant include improving incentives for nurses who seek additional education and removing barriers so registered nurses with associate degrees can progress toward a bachelor's degree in nursing.

The Montana grant will be made to the Montana Area Health Education Center in the MSU College of Nursing on behalf of the Montana Action Coalition. In addition to Montana, states chosen to receive similar grants are California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Texas and Washington.

The funding comes from a new Robert Wood Johnson Foundation program, Academic Progression in Nursing, or APIN, which is designed to respond to recommendations from the Institute of Medicine for improving health in the U.S.  

"The Montana Action Coalition is thrilled to have been chosen as a recipient of this grant," said Casey Blumenthal, vice president of MHA, An Association of Montana Healthcare Providers. "The goal of the Montana project is to build partnerships among nursing education and practice to help achieve the new national recommendations for nursing education."

According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, about half of nurses in the United States have a bachelor's degree or higher, but the Institute of Medicine recommends that 80 percent of the nursing workforce have bachelor's degrees by the year 2020. 

"The nation needs a well-educated nursing workforce to ensure an adequate supply of public health and primary care providers, improve care for patients living with chronic illness, and in other ways meet the needs of our aging and increasingly diverse population," said Pamela Austin Thompson, national program director for APIN, chief executive officer of the American Organization of Nurse Executives and senior vice president for nursing at the American Hospital Association. "We have great confidence in the nine states that will receive these grants to implement bold and effective strategies that will work in their states and create models that other states can utilize."

In addition to awarding grants, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is supporting "The Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action," a collaborative effort to advance solutions to challenges facing the nursing profession. The campaign is coordinated through the Center to Champion Nursing in America, an initiative of AARP, the AARP Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. It supports 49 state-based action coalitions around the country that are leading the APIN work in each of the nine funded states.

APIN is run by the American Organization of Nurse Executives on behalf of the Tri-Council for Nursing. The Tri-Council for Nursing consists of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the National League for Nursing, American Nurses Association, and the American Organization of Nurse Executives, which is leading the $4.3 million, two-year initiative. 

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on pressing health and health care issues in the United States and works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, measurable and timely change. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org.

 

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