About Us

As part of the nationwide Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, the New Jersey Action Coalition (NJAC) is one of 51 coalitions (one in every state and the District of Columbia) bringing together diverse health care providers, policy-makers, and business, academic, and philanthropic leaders to transform health care through nursing. The New Jersey Action Coalition (NJAC) has been in existence since 2010 and was one of the first 5 action coalitions to be formed. The Campaign for Action is coordinated through the Center to Champion Nursing in America, an initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), AARP, and the AARP Foundation.


Click image to download full strategic map

NJAC is driven by evidence-based recommendations from the Institute of Medicine’s landmark 2010 report The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. The recommendations focused on four key areas:

  • Nurses should practice to the full extent of their education and training;
  • Nurses should achieve higher levels of education and training through an improved education system that promotes seamless academic progression;
  • Nurses should be full partners, with physicians and other health care professionals, in redesigning health care in the United States; and
  • Effective workforce planning and policy-making require better data collection and information infrastructure.

New Jersey Action Coalition Co-Leads

Edna Cadmus

Edna Cadmus

David Knowlton

David Knowlton

Mary Wachter

Mary Wachter

Active Projects


Ensuring that nursing plays a central role in the transformation of the Health Care System in New Jersey so that it may provide seamless, affordable, quality care that will be accessible to all, patient centered, and evidence-based, leading to improved health outcomes in New Jersey.

Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action Progress Report

The NJAC’s Future of Nursing Campaign for Action has made great strides since 2010. The Campaign for Action  is a key part of building a Culture of Health, as it takes steps to bring accessible, high-quality care to more Americans. This vision is based on the belief that everyone deserves to live the healthiest life possible.

Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action

Nurse Residency Simulation

New Nurse Residency Program starting in Fall 2016

New Nurse Residency Program for Long Term Care and Assisted Living starting in Fall of 2016.  This program is being funded by the NJCCN for 1 year.  Requires that you be hired by a facility that is willing to participate in the program.  For more information contact: Katherine Black at: 

Updates on NJAC Work-2016

The NJAC is in the process of realigning our work for the future.  Building on our capacity building to further develop a culture a health in NJ.  Please see the letter below for all of the accomplishments to date from your work as Coalition members and friends.    Please stay tuned to our next steps.  Read More… NJAC IOM Letter     

May 24th, 2016- Summit held with diverse stakeholders to determine how to embed nurses in the community to build a culture of health in NJ.  A strategic plan will be forthcoming.


Boards are better when nurses weigh in; their perspectives and experiences add distinctive viewpoints that improve the decisions that are made to achieve the goals of improved health, and efficient and effective health care systems at the local, state, and national levels.

The New Jersey Action Coalition (NJAC) strongly supports this effort to increase nurse leadership opportunities and will play an active role in advancing this initiative in New Jersey. To that end, NJAC has created a voluntary form to help gather relevant professional information for nurses interested in serving on a New Jersey board. Please use the below form to submit your information and current resume.

New Jersey Nurses Board Service Application

Additionally, the Nurses on Boards Coalition (NOBC) is spearheading the drive to get 10,000 nurses on boards across America by 2020. The Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action is encouraging nurses to join the Leap Into Leadership initiative, February 29 to March 4, 2016, sponsored by the Nurses on Boards Coalition. Visit NursesonBoardsCoalition.org and click the “Be Counted” tab. Getting a good count of how many nurses serve in leadership spots on the boards of community, health, and other organizations will provide a stronger foundation for growth and help create healthier communities. Don’t miss out on your opportunity to be counted!

Get more information and follow the progress on Twitter at #LEAPintoLEADERSHIP and #10kNurses.


For questions and inquiries related to the NJAC board application, feel free to contact .

Thank you for your support,

New Jersey Action Coalition

New “app” available to help potential and current nurses navigate the educational system.  See how you can obtain the app on the side panel.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge


Since 2010, NJAC has been focused on increasing the number of BSN or higher degree nurses in New Jersey. The national goal is to have 80% BSN prepared nurses by 2020.

Grant 1 (2013 – 2015) – Seamless Academic Progression-Completed

This grant was funded by RWJF and NJ partners for $225,000. Academic – practice partnerships formed across the state to create seamless academic progression. The map represents those engaged in this project.

Grant 2 (2015 – 2017) – Nurse Navigators

The grant is funded by RWJF and NJ partners for $150,000.

  • Implementing curricula and seamless academic progression continues under the leadership of Dr. Maria Torchia LoGrippo;
  • A nurse navigator has been hired to assist nurses with enrollment, financial aid and work life balance;
  • An “app” is under development to help nurses and potential nurses navigate educational pathways.

For more information contact: Maria Torchia LoGrippo

Implement Nurse Residency Models

Long Term Care Residency

Since December 2013 the NJAC in collaboration with stakeholders implemented a new nurse residency and preceptor program for LTC facilities across the state. This model program was funded for 1.6 million dollars by CMS.  This residency program has been completed.  86% retention rate achieved for new graduates for 1 year from this program.  A report will be forthcoming.For more information contact: Edna Cadmus

LTC Cohort 1 Group Picture

Cohort 1 – Long Term Care Nurse Residents

APN Nurse Residency

An outline for APN model for transitions into practice was developed. The NJAC is seeking funds to test the model in New Jersey. For more info contact: Susan Salmond

APN Practice

APNs can meet 80% of the primary care needs in New Jersey. Outcomes show positive impact on quality care.

Expand Nursing Leadership Skills and Opportunities

Nurses need to be engaged at the board level in helping redesign healthcare in New Jersey. NJAC is working hard to expand leadership skills and opportunities by:

  • Identifying, developing and promoting nurse leaders in the state
  • Preparing nurse leaders for board governance opportunities
  • Forming a database of established and emerging nurse leaders for prospective board positions
  • Helping mid-level nurses build leadership skills
  • Surveying and identifying current nurse board leaders
  • Mentoring and expanding LTC nurse leaders through ONE-NJ mentorship program

Why is it important for nurses to be on boards?

First, Watch the video:

New Jersey Nurses on Boards Survey Results 2015

A survey was conducted between April to August 2015 to determine a baseline on how many nurses served on boards, and the types of boards they were serving on.  The fact sheet is attached.   NJAC Nurses on Boards Fact Sheet The results showed a gap in the number of nurses on pharmaceutical, insurance, and corporate companies.  This should be a focus for NJ nurses.

Upload your resume to the following website so we can connect you with board positions. Please read letter below by opening the link to learn how to be in our database for potential board appointments.

Nurses on Boards letter

READY TO RUN is a national network of non-partisan campaign training programs committed to electing more woman into public office.  https://cawp.rutgers.edu/education_training/ready_to_run/2016-ready-run-njce


NJAC Member Maria Torchia LoGrippo is One of 10 Breakthrough Nurse Leaders in the US

Maria-LoGrippo-Breakthrough-Leader-AwardThis program was sponsored by the RWJF in collaboration with AARP to develop leaders across the nation.

Funding & Partners


  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
  • New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH)


  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)
  • AARP New Jersey
  • New Jersey Chamber of Commerce Foundation
  • NJ Magnet Designated Hospitals
  • Robert Mills Foundation
  • The Horizon Foundation of New Jersey
  • F.M. Kirby Foundation

Nursing Organizations

  • New Jersey Collaborating Center for Nursing (NJCCN)
  • New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA)
  • New Jersey League for Nursing (NJLN)
  • New Jersey Nursing Initiative (NJNI)
  • New Jersey State Nurses Association (NJSNA)
  • Nurse.com
  • Organization of Nurse Executives of New Jersey (ONE/NJ)

Academic Settings

  • Monmouth University
  • Rutgers University
  • Seton Hall University
  • The College of New Jersey
  • New Jersey Association of Baccalaureate Higher Education Programs in Nursing

Nurses in Action

New Jersey has a 2nd Breakthrough Leader

Ten nurses who have developed innovative approaches to improve health and health care have been honored with the Culture of Health: Breakthrough Leaders in Nursing award from the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, a joint initiative of AARP, the AARP Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). The Culture of Health: Breakthrough Leaders in Nursing award is part of a concerted effort to celebrate nurse leaders and position nurses for leadership and executive roles to help people live healthier lives and create healthier communities.

Gina Miranda-Diaz, DNP, MS/MPH, RN, Director and Health Officer of the West New York (NJ) Health Department. BREAKTHROUGH: Dr. Miranda-Diaz is the first Latina in New Jersey to hold both the position of Registered Professional Nurse and Health Officer. A bilingual volunteer with American Red Cross, she has worked the front lines of disasters including helping survivors of Hurricane Katrina and US Airways Flight 1549 (which landed in the Hudson River).

Anna-Federico-Headshot2Anna Federico

Anna Federico, MSN, FNP-C is currently State Practice Manager of Minute Clinic Diagnostic in New Jersey for CVS/Caremark. “I was taken by the realization that good health care can happen anywhere as long as you are committed to it and intrigued by the thought of caring for people in the center of their community.” Website

Mary Anne Marra HeadshotMary Anne Marra

Childhood friends of Mary Anne Marra, DNP, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, Chief Nursing Officer at East Orange General Hospital in northern New Jersey, says “Having a clinically-oriented person as a member of the Board brings a keener understanding of the quality metrics for patient delivery.” Website

Rachel-Davis-BohsRachel Davis Bohs

Rachel Davis Bohs, BSN, RN, CNOR, project director at the Process Management Office for AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center in Atlantic City, NJ, will tell you that “the devil is in the details.” Website


veronicaVeronica Onwunaka

Veronica Onwunaka, 50, says “I believe that nurses have the ability to affect change in nursing practice. I also know that in order for nurses to take a lead in advancing healthcare, they have to possess the educational qualifications needed to do so. For this reason, supporting nurses to continue their education is a priority in my leadership role at New Community.” Website


Information on NJAC Culture of Health Initiative

Building a Culture of Health- County by County-Call to Action NJ Nurses

NJ Framework for Matching Projects and Nurses

—–Community Advisory Board

—–Professional Organizations

—–Community Nurse Volunteers

—–Academia Engaging Students

Jenn Polakowski will serve as the community liaison for oversight of this program

njac-t-o-15/24/16  Invitational Summit- Working with leaders across sectors to identity how to best mobilize nurses in the state.


10/6/16  Professional Nursing Organizations– Come together to identify how their organization can provide nurses.

2017-     Educate nurses to be coaches and community leaders

Dear Colleagues,

The New Jersey Action Coalition is a calling all nurses to join us in our new endeavor of building a Culture of Health in NJ.  NJAC’s new initiative of mobilizing nurses into the community is critical to realizing the full benefits for oneself and for the communities they will impact. As mentioned at the October 6th Nursing Organizations meeting, we have developed the criteria for recruiting and selecting NJAC Volunteer Coaches. We are looking for 42 Volunteer Coaches (2 per county) to help us lead and organize a nursing volunteer corps throughout the state. All experience levels are welcomed to apply.  Please click on the link below to complete the online form and to upload a one-page resume and personal statement on why you are interested in and qualified for being a volunteer coach.

EXPECTATIONS & BENEFITS for being a Volunteer Coach • Must be a Nurse (RN) • Must be able to commit to a minimum of a year as a coach • Must be willing to participate in training, meetings and be available by email/phone • Opportunity to boost your career with community out-reach • Opportunity to expand networking and leadership development skills • Opportunity to receive future certifications and/or CEUs

Please click link and complete form by January 31 2017:

NJAC Volunteer Coach Form

If you have any questions, please contact Jennifer Polakowski, NJAC Community Liaison at


Jennifer Polakowski

Deputy Director

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

New Jersey Nursing Initiative at HRET

760 Alexander Road

Princeton, NJ 08543

Phone: 609-275-4045


What is Culture of Health?

To learn more about a culture of health and how nurses can engage please explore the following website.