Susan Reinhard, RN, Ph.D., FAAN, is a senior vice president at AARP, directing its Public Policy Institute, the focal point for AARP’s public policy research and analysis. She also serves as the chief strategist for the Center to Champion Nursing in America, a resource center to ensure the nation has the nurses it needs.

Nurse Practitioners Fill the Gap

This month,  AARP The Magazine features Danielle Pendergrass, a nurse practitioner living in rural Price, Utah. Before Pendergrass opened her women’s health clinic in Price, many women in the area went years without seeing a doctor. The 60-mile trip to the nearest obstetrician-gynecologist was simply too far for many. Since her clinic opened, Pendergrass’ patient load has surged to 3,300 people. Lack of access to health care is not unique to rural Utah. Some 60 million Americans live in places …

From Firefighter to Nurse: AARP Champions Lives Reimagined

The June AARP Bulletin features four older adults who re-careered to nursing from vastly different professions-firefighter, monk, newspaper reporter and judge. All over the age of 50, each had successful careers and had found their niche. Yet each craved change. Taking a page from AARP’s “Life Reimagined” initiative, Edward Moriarty, 61, of the New York Fire Department became a visiting nurse; Chris Tower, 62, left a monastery to become a psychiatric nurse practitioner; Tracy Gordon Fox, 50, left a daily …

Time for States to Get Moving on Supporting Long-Term Care

It’s time to pick up the pace of change. That’s the core message of a report released today by the AARP Public Policy Institute (with support from the Commonwealth Fund and the SCAN Foundation) that looks at delivery of long-term services and supports (LTSS). The 2014 LTSS Scorecard evaluated every state and the District of Columbia on 26 aspects of system performance, including affordability, access, choice, quality, support for family caregivers, and effectiveness of care transitions. There was good news …

Transforming Nursing Will Improve Health Care

Creating a larger, more highly skilled nursing workforce will improve access to higher-quality, more patient-centered, and more affordable care. That is especially important now: Demand for nursing care is growing as the population ages and millions more people are entering the health care system under the Affordable Care Act. At AARP, we have made it our mission to ensure that all people have access to a highly skilled nurse when and where they need one. Nurses, the largest segment of …