• Over the years in reporting on business in Montana, and as once more I see the dismal rating of Montana in the SBE study about the kind of environment in which entrepreneurs must function, I am struck at how little difference reality makes in political circles.
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  • For a state that has the highest ratio of entrepreneurs, Montana does not rank well in how it treats those entrepreneurs, and the impacts of those policies are far reaching for every citizen.
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  • After something of a boom year in 2015, Montana’s economy slowed in 2016. Growing just short of four percent in 2015, growth in 2016 was just a little over half that. Economist Pat Barkey, Director of the Bureau of Business and Economic, projects that 2016 growth will be about 2.6 percent, but the final data is not yet available to
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  • Magic City Real Estate is a new Full Service Residential Real Estate company in Billings. Reatha Montoya as Broker/Owner has launched Magic City Real Estate.Montoya was with Keller Williams for over three years.
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  • A need for a program with more emphasis on banking has resulted in a partnership between Montana State University’s Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship and the Montana banking community.
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  • The Montana Petroleum Association said it was not surprised by the cancellation of 15 leases held by Devon Corp. in the northwest Montana area of the Lewis and Clark National Forest.
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  • Attracting a more educated and younger labor force to Montana is necessary to shore up the state’s economy, but to do so is more complicated than it may seem.And, is Montana sure that that’s what it wants? quizzed Bryce Ward, an economist with the Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) during the BBER’s 42 Annual Montana Economic Outlook for 2017.
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  • Gracia Barr always dreamed of owning her own business, but when the opportunity presented itself she wasn’t sure she was ready. However, the opportunity to purchase The Nail Institute and own a school that served the industry which had been so much a part of her life, was just too much the perfect fit. So with the urging and support
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  • One of Montana’s oldest and most popular businesses is expanding its facility in Billings to meet growing demand.
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  • The upbeat news in agriculture in Montana is all about pulse crops (lentils and peas) with prices expected to rise and production increasing by 75 percent, while more traditional farm production has suffered price declines over the past couple of years. George Haynes of the Department Economics and Agricultural Economics and Extension Economics at MSU, called the emerging importance of
    Read More
  • While the economic news for Yellowstone County is less than stellar, it could be worse and it is not without its bright spots.
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  • Next Steps for TEDDNow that the TEDD in Lockwood has been created for the purpose of developing an industrial park, Big Sky Economic Development Authority (BSEDA) is pursuing the next step in the process. That step is to develop an infrastructure master plan that will help in designing the Billings Bypass, according to Steve Arveschoug, BSEDA Director. “We need to
    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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