• As the old year waned and the new year dawned, Montana lost a legendary businessman and one of agriculture’s greatest innovators and entrepreneurs.It’s hard to think of anyone who, single-handedly, left a greater mark on Montana business.Throughout rural Montana, on the farms and ranches across the state, Pat Goggins is a household name, and has been for over a half
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  • Recently someone on some television program announced that “Americans are takers.”Americans are extremely fortunate in the quality of life we have and in the wealth of resources available to us. It is unparalleled in all the world and in all history. But, how did it get there? It is not a matter of luck.
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  • As the population bubble of babyboomers begin aging the demand for all kinds of healthcare and quality- of- life care services is expected to increase significantly. Two couples in Billings, all of whom are closely aligned with the healthcare profession, are launching a new business that will address that growing need.Rob and Laurie Gagnon and Dean and Lisa Sukin have
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  • Arch Coal Inc. joined the ranks of bankrupt coal miners, last week, following a number of other bankrupt coal companies because of changing markets and burdensome regulations.Arch Coal owns Otter Creek Coal in southwestern Montana near Ashland. The company has been a major player in coal regions across the U.S., including Appalachia and the Powder River Basin. In the Northwest,
    Read More
  • In an effort to attract people in pursuit of jobs and careers to the Billings area, where there is a labor shortage, BillingsWorks has launched a recruiting website – www.yourdreamcareerishere.com.The website focuses on providing job seekers with information about what makes Billings a great place to live and work, explained Brittney Souza, Director of BillingsWorks, a coalition of area business
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  • Proposed designs for roundabouts at the Johnson Lane Interchange and how they could impact Lockwood’s truck traffic was the primary topic of discussion at the Lockwood Business Group (LBG) meeting on Dec. 15.Concern that roundabouts could negatively impact the life-blood of about half of Lockwood businesses quickly put the issue on the front burner for those attending one of the
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  • (Editor’s note: Watchdog.org has been featuring a series of articles on the “nanny state.” They have named Missouri as Nanny State of the Year, after reporting on Pagedale, MO. Pagedale demonstrates the run-amuck potential of regulations because of the legal premise upon which they are based. But, Pagedale actually isn’t all that extreme, there have been Montana cities that have
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  • The Montana Farm Bureau has expressed dismay with Montana Governor Steve Bullock’s decision to allow for the presence of bison year-round in Montana on the perimeter of Yellowstone National Park (YNP). Bison will be permitted to occupy suitable habitat in Montana outside of the park within manageable confines and subject to seasonal limits on numbers.
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  • 2015 was a sobering year regarding the prospects of oil for Montana and Yellowstone County. Billings businesses were saved from the worst of the Great Recession, and were rapidly growing and expanding, in direct contrast to the rest of the country, because of the Bakken Boom in western North Dakota. But other things must also have been going on to
    Read More
  • For all the angst that Presidential Candidate Donald Trump is causing the Republican establishment, they should certainly understand that he is a creature of their own making.Donald Trump is just as much a creation of the Republican establishment as was President Barack Obama. The emergence of both should have been seen as the logical consequence of a half century of
    Read More
  • The holiday party season is here, and the Small Business Legal Center at the National Federation of Independent Business is advising its members to keep celebrations safe by watching out for two problem areas – drunk driving and harassment.An increasing number of states require employers to exercise reasonable care to prevent injuries by intoxicated employees. To minimize the risk of
    Read More
  • When it comes to attracting companies, Billings and the surrounding area is most attractive to manufacturers and to businesses in western Canada.Those are two conclusions that Big Sky Economic Development (EDA) has reached after two or three years’ experience in courting businesses, according to Allison Corbyn, EDA Business Recruitment and Outreach Program Manager. Corbyn reported on the organization’s recruitment efforts
    Read More

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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