Kaiser Permanente Nursing Vision

Kaiser Permanente nurses advance the art and science of nursing in a patient-centered healing environment through our professional practice and leadership.

Extraordinary Nursing Care • Every Patient • Every Time

Greg Adams

“There are no nurses better positioned to shape the future of nursing than those of Kaiser Permanente. The Kaiser Permanente Northern California Nurse Scholars Academy will help us realize our vision of having the nation’s best educated nursing workforce by the year 2020.”

Gregory A. Adams
Founder, Kaiser Permanente Nurse Scholars Academy
Executive Vice President and Group President
Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Health Plan

Janet Liang

Introducing the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Nurse Scholars Academy

Kaiser Permanente is the nation’s largest and oldest integrated health care model, combining care and coverage to improve the health of our members and communities we serve. For 70 years, our focus on quality and prevention, early detection, and evidence-based medicine has been saving and improving lives. We are recognized nationally and internationally as a model of health care for the 21st century.

Innovation in nursing practice played a foundational role at Kaiser Permanente. In 1933, the first Kaiser Permanente nurse, Betty Runyen, accompanied Kaiser Permanente co-founder Sidney Garfield, MD, to the Desert Center Hospital to provide preventative health care to Colorado River Aqueduct construction workers – and the Kaiser Permanente model was born.

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As health care evolves, so does nursing at Kaiser Permanente, and our nurses are central to transforming how care is delivered. To this end, we are excited to introduce the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Nurse Scholars Academy, which is dedicated to the advancement of nursing education and leadership.

The Nurse Scholars Academy launches with an exciting series of degree programs to greatly increase the number of nurses with baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees by 2020. We are also expanding the number of management development programs. From the aspiring nurse who is thinking about a leadership career to the middle manager on track to become a chief nursing officer, we are dedicating resources to help nurses become leaders in health care delivery. With  approximately 35,000 nurses caring for Kaiser Permanente members and patients in Northern California, this is an investment in clinical excellence for future generations.

There are many whose passion for nursing contributed to the development of the Nurse Scholars Academy. Special recognition goes to its founder and visionary, Gregory A. Adams, group president and regional president of Kaiser Permanente Northern California, himself a former emergency room nurse, Anita Zuniga, RN, MSN, chief operating officer at Oakland Medical Center and former vice president of Patient Care Services, and Marilyn P. Chow, RN, Ph.D., FAAN, vice president, National Patient Care Services and Innovation, Kaiser Permanente.

I am delighted to introduce Jim D’Alfonso, executive director of the Nurse Scholars Academy. Jim’s distinguished career as a nurse, leader, health care executive, and educator embodies the founding principles of our new academy.


Janet Liang
Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Health Plan
Northern California Region

Jim Dalfonso

I want to welcome you personally to the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Nurse Scholars Academy. As the health care environment continues to evolve rapidly, this exciting new professional development initiative is an unprecedented opportunity for Kaiser Permanente nurses to help lead the transformation of health care quality and safety, across diverse practice environments.

Through close collaboration with prestigious academic partners and generous tuition support Kaiser Permanente will offer innovative degree programs (BSN, MSN/Clinical Nurse Leader, and DNP/Ph.D.) to help a select number of our qualified nurses to pursue both their personal and professional career goals. The programs are designed for the working nurse in mind.

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Over the coming five years, qualified Kaiser Permanente Northern California registered nurses will have the chance to return to school to complete a BSN or MSN degree, or earn a doctorate of nursing practice (DNP). In collaboration with The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), scholarships will also be available for a small number of Ph.D. candidates in nursing.

Kaiser Permanente’s nurses are an integral part of leading and co-creating new care systems and clinical best practices. These academic programs will help us ensure that Kaiser Permanente’s nurses remain at the forefront of innovations in patient care and advancements in professional nursing practice well into the future.

Jim D'Alfonso signature

Jim D’Alfonso, DNP, RN, PhD(h), NEA-BC, FNAP
Executive Director Professional Practice, Leadership Development, & Research
Executive Director, KP Nurse Scholars Academy
Regional Patient Care Services – Northern California