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Blue Cross Blue Shield Florida

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For Immediate Release

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Recognized with a
Top Honor from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing

Washington, DC, April 6, 2007 – The American Association of College of Nursing (AACN) is pleased to recognize Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida (BCBSF) with the 2007 Corporate Citizen Award for the company’s far-reaching efforts to address the critical shortage of nurses by supporting nurse education, practice and research.

Through its strategic philanthropic effort called Generation RN(sm), BCBSF has successfully created partnerships throughout Florida with state government, colleges and universities, and the provider community that will ultimately prepare more nurses to enter the workplace and enhance their practice.

“AACN applauds Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida and Generation RN for its generous commitment to supporting professional nursing education,” said AACN President Jeanette Lancaster. “Generation RN is laying the foundation for continued growth in the nursing profession by forming collaborative partnerships and investing in nursing education and innovations in care delivery as a way to address Florida’s growing nursing shortage.”

In Florida, the shortage of nurses is currently estimated at 34,000, and it is projected to hit 61,000 by the year 2020. The shortage is happening at the same time the state’s population is projected to grow 22 percent and the number of elderly residents is projected to increase 63 percent, placing increased demand on the health care system. Nurses are at the front lines of patient care and a shortage of nurses can pose a serious threat to patient safety and outcomes.

BCBSF has provided approximately $15 million to fund programs in each of Florida’s 67 counties, including support for new nursing students, career development for today’s nurses, and research for improvements in patient safety, health care access and quality outcomes. Combined with matching public funds and other private-sector support, more than $24 million has been invested to address the state’s nursing shortage. This funding has created more opportunities for students, teachers and nurse clinicians with an emphasis on underrepresented ethnic groups.

“Strengthening the nursing profession is fundamental for good patient care. Through support of nurse education and professional development, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida is advancing the health and well-being of Floridians,” said Catherine Kelly, vice president of public affairs, signature programs for BCBSF.

As a national voice for baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs, AACN is using its resources and influence to address the shortage of registered nurse and nurse faculty. The organization advocates for increasing federal funding for nurse education programs while also working to identify strategies for preparing more faculty to teach future generations of nurses.

“AACN is hopeful that other corporate citizens will follow the wonderful example set by BCBSF by investing in their community’s well being and supporting local efforts to address the nursing shortage,” added Dr. Lancaster.

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing is the national voice for university and four-year-college education programs in nursing. Representing more than 600 member schools of nursing at public and private institutions nationwide, AACN's educational, research, governmental advocacy, data collection, publications, and other programs work to establish quality standards for bachelor's- and graduate-degree nursing education, assist deans and directors to implement those standards, influence the nursing profession to improve health care, and promote public support of baccalaureate and graduate nursing education, research, and practice.

 

CONTACT: Robert Rosseter
(202) 463-6930, x231
rrosseter@aacn.nche.edu