In 2008, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation approached the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to propose a partnership between the two organizations. The resulting collaboration became the two-year Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative on the Future of Nursing at the IOM. The committee was chaired by former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala, and the goal was to look at the possibility of transforming the nursing profession to meet the challenges of a changing health care landscape. The report produced by the committee, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, makes specific and directed recommendations in the areas of nurse training, education, professional leadership, and workforce policy. This website provides access to the ongoing research and data supported by RWJF through its Initiative on the Future of Nursing to continue to advance the recommendations of the IOM report.

IOM Committee

The IOM’s 18-member committee, led by former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala, included an extraordinary group of professionals, including health experts from the spectrum of business, academia, nonprofits, and health care organizations. They were charged with developing a report on the future of nursing, with solutions to improve the quality of patient care while controlling costs.


The recommendations suggest new ways for nurses to practice and enhance access to care. The directives contained in The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health aim for an American health care system that centers on the patient, relies on evidence-based practices, and leads to the improved health of people in all categories and locations. Nurses and nursing leaders are central to that vision.

View the report’s Key Messages and Recommendations.

Campaign for Action

The Campaign for Action is a national initiative coordinated through the Center to Champion Nursing in America (CCNA), an initiative of AARP, the AARP Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The campaign has mobilized diverse stakeholders nationally and in 49 states to address the nation’s most pressing health care challenges – access, quality and increasing cost – by utilizing nurses more effectively and preparing nursing for the future.

Get involved with the Campaign for Action