• by Evelyn Pyburn What was behind the Donald Trump presidential victory? While pundits dissect, bisect and analyze every nuance of every issue and every demographic sector, wondering what they missed before, and are now hoping to get it right – there’s not a one who’s mentioned the real underlying theme of it all — the rule of law.The election demonstrated
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  • The Montana Chamber of Commerce will hold a briefing for its members and interested business people regarding its 2026 Strategic Plan on November 30, 12 pm in Billings at the Northern Hotel.
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  •   Following Black Friday comes Shop Local Saturday, November 26. The purpose of the day is to focus on the importance of supporting local businesses.Over the past few years, Shop Local Saturday” has grown in its impact year over year, as communities realize that small local shops are an important part of each community’s economic base. To support them means
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  • Farmers Insurance has launched an innovative insurance policy for food truck owners – a growing market. Farmers have begun to offer licensed food truck owners a single policy that combines commercial automobile coverage for their truck with a restaurant business owner policy.Montana is one of the 28 states where the policy is now available.
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  • The proposed Inner Belt Loop which would connect the Heights to the westend of Billings has been pulled from the back burners by the Billings City Council, and urged forward with the likelihood of being funded by issuing bonds.The plan has been talked about for a long time, said Mayor Tom Hanel, and it’s time to “get serious” about what
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  • The Montana Infrastructure Coalition is working on a non-partisan legislative package that will help address some of the most pressing infrastructure needs in the state – most especially water and wastewater systems for communities. The Montana chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) estimates that the total annual reinvestment by Montana communities, to maintain their $15 billion dollars
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  • Asian Fusion has opened in the food court of Rimrock Mall, the newest venture of the husband and wife team of Howard Shen and Tina Wu.
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  • Associated Employers, a support organization for employers in Montana and Wyoming, celebrated one hundred years in 2016. For any organization to sustain itself for 100 years is a significant achievement in any arena, but for a non-profit service organization, relying on voluntary membership fees from individuals noted for their pragmatism, it is especially noteworthy.
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  • The Billings Chamber of Commerce announce that the Institute for Organization Management, the professional development program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, has appointed Jennifer Reiser, IOM, Chief Operating Officer of the Chamber, to the West Board of Regents. As a member of this Board, Reiser will implement the policies created by Institute’s National Board of Trustees.
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  • Oil in the Bakken may be making a comeback that will surprise many and it may be more than some might wish, Lynn Helms, director of North Dakota’s Department of Mineral Resources, is being reported as proclaiming this past week. While the process is slow, the numbers are building up, according to Helms, who believes that his department’s projections of
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  • To be in business is noble and virtuous.To implement a plan for a good environment in Montana for business will cost Montana Chamber members a million dollars.Business people were called upon by Greg Gianforte to be proud of what they do in the private sector, and to do their part in planting “a spark” of entrepreneurship in young people. Gianforte
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  • Susan Lynch has joined Stockman Bank as compliance lending officer. Her responsibilities include developing and integrating policy and procedure consistent with regulatory requirements for lending functions, as well as developing and presenting training programs for employees on lending compliance procedures in all 34 Stockman Bank locations.
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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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