Pennsylvania Action Coalition Appoints Frances Ward as Executive Director

Updated on July 19, 2012

The Pennsylvania Action Coalition, in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and AARP, today announced that Frances Ward, PhD, RN, CRNP, has been appointed executive director.

Dr. Ward has held several senior leadership positions, most recently Professor and David R. Devereaux Chair of Nursing at Temple University’s College of Health Professions and Social Work, and previously, Professor and Founding Dean of the School of Nursing at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.  Deeply committed to quality health care delivery for urban residents, she has consistently engaged in nursing practice, currently as a part-time adult nurse practitioner.  Her research, focusing on issues integral to care delivery among uninsured and underinsured populations, evolves from her practice.  She is the author, most recently, of The Door of Last Resort: Memoirs of a Nurse Practitioner (forthcoming from Rutgers University Press).

“In addition to her passion for primary care delivery, Dr. Ward has been integral in legislative efforts to solidify scope of practice expansion for nurses,” stated Coalition Co-Lead and PA State Nurses Association (PSNA) CEO Betsy M. Snook, MEd, RN, BSN. “Her expertise and vision will unquestionably advance the Coalition’s goal of preparing nurses to lead change in our nation’s health care environment.”

The Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action is an initiative organized by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and AARP to advance comprehensive health care change. It envisions a health care system where all Americans have access to high-quality care, with nurses contributing to the full extent of their capabilities.  The campaign is coordinated through the Center to Champion Nursing in America (CCNA), an initiative of AARP, the AARP Foundation and RWJF, and includes 49 state Action Coalitions and a wide range of health care providers, consumer advocates, policy-makers and business, academic and philanthropic leaders. Action Coalitions will further the overall effort by capturing best practices, determining research needs, lessons learned and identifying replicable models.

The PA Action Coalition is spearheaded by the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association (PSNA).  With guidance from a diverse set of stakeholders and professionals from both nursing and non-nursing fields, the Coalition will work to advance the following goals: (1) increase the proportion of nurses with a baccalaureate degree to 80 percent by 2020; (2) double the number of nurses with a doctoral degree by 2020; (3) prepare and enable nurses to lead change and advance health; (4) build an infrastructure for the collection and analysis of inter-professional health care workforce data; and (5) implement nurse residency programs across the Commonwealth. For more information about the PA Action Coalition, visit

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