Nursing & Allied Health Initiative: Big News-62% Increase in BSN graduates in MA from 2010 to 2015!

2005 Grants

The Board of Higher Education Nursing Education Initiative seeks to address the near-term shortages of nursing graduates and to develop longer-term programs to increase the capacity of public higher education to meet the demand for nurses.

The Board of Higher Education was given $500,000 in the fall 2005 supplemental budget for the Nursing Initiative. The FY2005 funding priorities were established in consultation with stakeholders by identifying best practices from the Nursing Career Ladder Initiative and assessing the results of the Board of Higher Education's analysis of health care industry and public higher education partnerships.

Institution Amount Project Purpose
(Student and faculty impact numbers as stated in proposals)
Goal:Increase the Number of Nursing Faculty

Framingham State College

Susan L. Conrad, R.N., Ph.D., Professor and Chairperson, Nursing Department


Expand the Framingham State College Graduate Certificate Program in Nursing Education to increase the number of faculty available to teach in community college nursing programs. The twelve-credit program, based at Framingham, will be expanded to five sites and bring the number of public A.S. in Nursing  academic partnerships to ten. One target audience is registered nurses with a BSN or MSN or a related Masters who might wish to become academic or clinical faculty. 

Impact: 60 faculty

Goal: Enhance Student Retention (Funding in this category is generally to support project development costs for program implementation in FY2006.

MassBay Community College

Ms. Lily Hsu, Dean, Health, Human Services & Education


Project Reaching Excellence and Academic Success with Online Nursing (REASON) develops a comprehensive A.S. in Nursing student retention model for replication by other community colleges. Model components are based on best practices from Mass Bay, Mount Wachusett and Cape Cod Community Colleges. Project includes:

  • a pre-Nursing course, Foundations of Nursing Success

  • Online Nursing Study Group led by a nurse facilitator, including self-instruction units

  • Facilitator Workshop for faculty/staff teams from participating colleges includes training, instructional materials to support integration of new Project REASON units into current nursing programs

Impact: 500 students, 20 faculty

Fitchburg State College

Dr. Andrea Wallen, Chair, Department of Nursing


Strategies for College Success improves BSN student retention through:

  • mandatory summer workshop for all 90 incoming Pre-Nursing students during freshman orientation

  • test-taking strategies workshops for all sophomore and junior nursing majors

  • evening financial planning sessions for families of all incoming Pre-Nursing majors on career opportunities and financial aid, with stress on limiting student employment during academic sessions to increase likelihood of retention

Impact: 188 students, 3 faculty

UMass Lowell

Jacqueline S. Dowling, Ph.D., R.N., Assistant Professor, Department of Nursing


Retention and Success in Math supports UML freshmen and sophomore nursing students in greater need of acquiring math skills for medication calculation and administration.

  • at-risk students required to enroll in math enrichment course to enhance basic competency and achievement on medication calculation exams 

  • funding supports course development and some instructional materials

Impact: 140 students, 5 faculty

North Shore Community College 

Ms. Susan Maciewicz, Director of Nurse Education
978.762.4000 x4156


Project combines:

  • study and test-taking skills enhancement workshopsexpanded hours for academic skill tutoring

  • supplemental instruction program for Anatomy & Physiology I course

  • analysis of unit competencies to direct focused tutoring

These support and tutorial projects will be integrated into an existing program model that uses intrusive academic advising and a self-paced competency based approach.

Impact: 124 students, 4 faculty

UMass Boston

Dr. Marion Winfrey, Associate Dean


Alliance for Success is a program to strengthen family support and involvement to increase potential of urban, commuter students to persist in nursing major, especially students for whom English is a second language. Seeks to increase supply of culturally competent nurses. The program will:

  • hold focus group sessions based on review of retention best practices for target population: one on managing competing obligations of family and academic success;  one on ESL issues that affect ability to persist
  • build group and best practices assessments into more effective retention strategies to be implemented in fall 2005
  • broaden retention tracking for all categories of undergraduate nursing students beyond freshman and transfer students; develop data base for tracking

Impact: 40 students, 4 faculty

Goal: Increase Integration of Technology and Faculty Training into Nursing Education

Springfield Technical Community College

Mr. Michael Foss, Dean, School of Health


Sims Medical Academy is a regionally-based community college segment program, coordinated by Springfield Technical Community College, to more effectively integrate technology into A.S. in Nursing  programs. Project funds acquisition of three simulation manikins (Mega-Code Kelly and Nursing Anne), faculty training in hosting and using manikins, and assessment of related technology status at each community college. Manikins will be placed at lead community colleges (Mt. Wachusett, Mass Bay) for each region.

  • faculty and deans from each lead institution participate in intensive workshop held at STCC to learn to implement hosting arrangements and develop simulation scenarios/curriculum at their institutions

  • begin development of shared online library simulation scenarios

Impact: eventually up to 1,000 students

UMass Amherst

Ms. Helene Cunningham, Director of the Nursing Learning Resource Center


This project is a partnership between the UMass Amherst School of Nursing and the Baystate Medical Center (BMC) to provide greater access to simulation technology for nursing students in a clinical placement and nurse educators at an acute care hospital setting. The funding will enable the acquisition of a simulation manikin to be placed at BMC to expand the patient safety-focused clinical experiences of nursing students and will support research on the effects of simulation technology on patient outcomes.

The project will enhance the clinical experience through:

  • Providing a more realistic simulation environment

  • Post-simulation discussions including nursing educators at BMC to enhance critical thinking skills of students

  • Increasing the number of nurse educators doing simulation-related training and the opportunities for multidisciplinary team work with nursing students

Impact: 150 students, 10 faculty

Salem State College

Ms. Linda Frontiero, Assistant Director, Nursing Resource Center


Project funds the purchase of simulation technology in order to enhance the clinical experience of nursing students and to address inconsistency within clinical experiences. Four simulation manikins (Sim Baby, Mega-Code Kelly, two Nursing Annes) will be combined with training sessions and conferences.  Three faculty members receive advanced training to, in turn, train twenty additional faculty. Simulation equipment will be incorporated into 13 courses in RN-BSN programs.

Impact:  446 students, 20 faculty

Fitchburg State College

Dr. Andrea Wallen, Chairman, Department of Nursing


Fitchburg State and Worcester State nursing departments will collaborate on a joint faculty training program on simulation manikins and related curriculum development. The project builds on Fitchburg State’s experience with simulation technology and provides:

  • Advanced training for four faculty from the Worcester State nursing department and four from the Fitchburg State nursing department. Experience based-training in the SimMan laboratory at Fitchburg will enable faculty from both colleges to more effectively incorporate clinical scenarios into their curriculum

  • Simulation laboratory equipment

Impact: 252 students, 22 faculty

Worcester State College

Dr. Helen Rogers, Chairperson, Department of Nursing


Project funds a SimMan, a computerized patient simulator, for Worcester State College (WSC) to increase instructional opportunities and enhance clinical readiness. (Nursing students currently practice procedures on each other.) The four WSC faculty members who receive training at Fitchburg State College will then train the seven additional WSC faculty members.

Impact: 170 students, 11 faculty

Total of competitively awarded contracts to public higher education institutions


Institutions report 3,048 student and 153 faculty participants

Other Projects

Bunker Hill Community College


The Boston Welcome Back Center, modeled after the Welcome Back Initiative in California, will provide assistance to internationally trained nurses to become licensed in the Boston area. Bunker Hill Community College will host the center for Boston with satellite offices at MassBay Community College, Roxbury Community College, and the University of Massachusetts Boston. These institutions are working in cooperation with the Board of Higher Education in governance and support. The Centers will provide outreach, evaluation, career path counseling and specialty courses.

Mass Center for Nursing


Enhance web presence of this centralized nursing web site with research of other states for most effective practices in promoting Massachusetts to out of state nurses, developing nursing faculty, and promoting recruitment and retention.

Board of Higher Education


Regionally Coordinated Clinical Placement Model Development: Identify costs and benefits of current clinical placement process of nursing students. Research and report on successful strategies used in other states. Develop a model for a regionally centralized clinical placement process for review and amendment by stakeholders, leading to pilot implementation in FY06.