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

What's New

LPN Student Stories: Educational Goals of a Diverse Nursing Workforce

There are over 21,000 Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) in Massachusetts alone. Beginning as an LPN affords those with low income, single parents, career changers and new immigrants a quick admission to the workforce. This brings a more diverse population into nursing that otherwise would not have had the opportunity to enter the profession. There is broad agreement that a diverse nursing workforce is essential to meet the needs of our increasingly diverse population.

These practical nursing students show extreme dedication and commitment by completing rigorous PN programs, some as short as 10 months, to prepare them to begin their careers. For some, this will be the start of a pathway to becoming a registered nurse and LPN to BSN programs are filling that need.


BusinessWest highlights RN-to-BSN Pathways

A new partnership between Westfield State University and Springfield Technical Community College will allow nursing graduates from STCC to earn a four-year degree from WSU on the Springfield campus. At a time when it’s increasingly important for nurses to have four-year degrees, the goal, as one STCC dean said, is to “remove any barriers to success.”

Read more: WSU, STCC Forge Unique Partnership in Nursing - BusinessWest.com


3rd Annual MA Healthcare Workforce Summit

Innovation, Education and Partnerships for Building a Culture of Health

Panelists shared experiences with innovative initiatives to improve the health of their communities. (Left to right) Facilitator Amanda Stefancyk Oberlies, Organization of Nurse Leaders, MA, RI, NH, CT; Dr. Wendy Brooks Barr, Greater Lawrence Family Health Center; Charlotte Stepanian, MA Association of Public Health Nurses; Julia Dyck, Health Care Workforce Center; Sharon Callender, Mattapan Community Health Center; Kathleen O’Brien, Everett Community Health Partnership.

On September 30, Nursing and Allied Health Professionals joined the Massachusetts Action Coalition for networking, poster presentations, breakout sessions and a keynote address from Dr. Joanne Disch, former president of the American Academy of Nursing and professor at the University of Minnesota, at the third annual MA Healthcare Workforce Summit entitled, "Innovation, Education and Partnerships for Building a Culture of Health."

Click here for materials from the summit.



New Allied Health Advisory Group Report

Geoff Vercauteren, Director of Healthcare Workforce Development at the Department of Higher Education, has issued the Allied Health Advisory Group (AHAG) Year One Report. The report shows progress on many AHAG goals, and identifies areas of focus for the future.

PDF 2015-2016 Summary >Progress Report


Core Competencies Updated for Registered Nurses in Massachusetts

Nearly six years after the publication of the Nurse of the Future Nursing Core Competencies© - Registered Nurse (NOFNCC-RN) and their implementation into academic and practice settings across the state, the Nurse of Future Competency Committee has just published an updated version.

This edition of the Nurse of the Future Core Nursing Competencies is a result of a review and updating process to ensure that the competencies reflect the many changes that have occurred in the health care environment and nursing practice, for example in the area of Informatics and Technology. The competencies still represent the minimum expectations for all nurses as they complete their pre-licensure education. As nursing education and practice continue to evolve in response to the needs of patients and the health care environment, these competencies will require ongoing review and evaluation to ensure that they continue to define the expectations for entry into nursing practice.

PDF Nurse of the Future Nursing Core Competencies© - Registered Nurse Updated March 2016


MA Action Coalition Releases an Updated Nursing Core Competencies Toolkit

As part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Academic Progression in Nursing Grant Program, the Massachusetts Action Coalition (MAAC) produced The Massachusetts Nursing Core Competencies: A Toolkit for Implementation in Education and Practice Settings in May 2014.

Designed as a resource guide designed to help facilitate the implementation of Massachusetts Nurse of the Future Nursing Core Competencies© (NOFNCC), the Toolkit has now been updated to reflect changes in the new edition of the NOFNCC described above.

PDF The MA Nursing Core Competencies: A Toolkit for Implementation in Education and Practice Updated March 2016


New Webinar - Nurse of the Future Nursing Core Competencies, The Future is Now - produced in April

On April 7, 2016, the Massachusetts Action Coalition produced a new Webinar to:

Due to technical problems, the webinar was recorded again before posting it for those who were unable to attend or would like to access the resource another time. All questions submitted during the webinar will be answered and posted soon. View the webinar below and download the slides: PDF Nurse of the Future Nursing Core Competencies: The Future is Now


Commissioner Santiago Touts Direct Care Pathways Initiative

UMass Medical School and UMass Dartmouth are joining with six Massachusetts community colleges to create a set of uniform standards --€“ and educational benchmarks --€“ for personal care attendants, home health aides and other workers in an industry aimed at helping others to live their lives the best they can, in their own homes.

Commissioner Carlos Santiago visited UMass Medical School, praising the program that was funded by the Allied Health Grant.

"We're looking for an academic pathway that will provide the credentials for continuing education," Santiago said. "We don't want credentials to be end-points, we are looking for them to be continued in a lifelong process."

>> One-third of Massachusetts' workforce is preparing to retire, UMass Medical is looking to train those who will care for them - masslive.com
>> UMass Medical School's latest project to benefit direct-care workers, not just patients - masslive.com

Learn more about the grant here.


2016 Massachusetts Faculty Institute for Gerontological Nursing - Applications Now Available

Massachusetts Senior Care Foundation, in collaboration with University of Massachusetts Lowell School of Nursing, is now accepting applications for its 6th annual Faculty Institute for Gerontological Nursing (FIGN), scheduled for August 15-18, 2016.

FIGN is an exciting educational and professional opportunity designed for nursing faculty who want to strengthen their knowledge and leadership in gerontological nursing education in support of its mission to expand the state’s capacity to educate nurses who are prepared to care for older adults and people with disabilities. Eligible applicants must be currently employed as a nursing faculty member or instructor at an accredited Massachusetts nursing program. There is no cost to participate in the 2016 FIGN and participating faculty will receive a stipend and CEUs upon completion. Applications are due March, 25, 2016. See below links for application materials and contact information.

>> 2016 FIGN Application Materials
>> 2016 FIGN Program Flyer


Preparing the Nursing Workforce to Transform Healthcare

National & State Perspectives, Initiatives are Focus of MA Workforce Summit

Leaders gathered for a picture at the Healthcare Workforce Summit

More than 150 nurses and leaders from across the healthcare spectrum attended the 2nd Annual Massachusetts Healthcare Workforce Summit and shared updates on national and statewide progress in developing a more highly educated and diverse nursing workforce, including data from successful initiatives in academic and practice settings.

The September 25 event was organized by the Massachusetts Action Coalition (MAAC), a partnership of the MA Dept. of Higher Education and the Organization of Nurse Leaders of MA & RI, which is leading a statewide campaign to transform health care through nursing education and practice innovations.

“Over the last four years, the Massachusetts nursing community and Department of Higher Education have made strong progress in implementing the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine’s landmark report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health,” said Patricia Crombie, MAAC Project Director. “Our goals now are to energize and engage more healthcare employers in this work and to develop initiatives and partnerships that can sustain this progress over the coming years.”

“Nurses are integral to building a nationwide culture of health,” Dr. John Lumpkin, Sr. Vice President of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), said in his keynote address. "Everyone in American can live a healthier life, supported by a system in which nurses are essential partners in providing care and promoting health".

"Nurses are everywhere -- where people live, learn, work, and play -- and have long been on the forefront of changes to improve health and healthcare, said Lumpkin. “Through Action Coalitions across the country, nurses are partnering with a wide range of public and private organizations to make health a priority. If we're going to succeed in building culture of health, nurses are - and will continue to be -- critical to our success."

Massachusetts is one of nine states recognized by the RWJF for their efforts to create a more highly educated, diverse nursing workforce by making it easier for current and future nurses to earn a bachelor’s degree or higher. Nationwide, more BSN-educated nurses are entering the workforce than those without bachelor’s, noted Tina Gerardi, Deputy Director of RWJF’s Academic Progression in Nursing (APIN) initiative.

The number of students in RN-to-BSN programs increased 69% from 2010 to 2014, Gerardi told the participants. Because there is enormous variability in requirements and credits in nurse education programs, APIN is focusing on establishing a set of foundational courses for RN-to-BSN programs.

Summit Presentations

Impact of APIN Grant on Increasing the Number of BSN or Higher Educated Nurses ins the Workforce by 2020 powerpoint icon PDF

Healthcare Workforce Summit Full Presentation Including: Diversity in the Nursing Workforce, Academic Progress in MA, Faculty Challenges, MA Nurse of the Future Nursing Core Competencies, and Scope of APRN Practice PDF PDF

Nursing as Integral Part of Building a Culture of Health PDF PDF

MA Action Coalition Willingness to Serve

Interested in working with the MA Action Coalition? DOC Fill out a form and e-mail to Pat Crombie, Project Director, MAAC at pmcrombie@gmail.com. Learn more about the MA Action Coalition on the MAAC page.


Core Competencies Developed for Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) in Massachusetts

Five years after the publication of the Nurse of the Future Nursing Core Competencies© - Registered Nurse (NOFNCC-RN) and their implementation into academic and practice settings across the state, Massachusetts nurse leaders have developed a similar set of competencies specific to the skills and abilities of the Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN).

Adapted from the RN-focused NOFNCC, the Nurse of the Future Nursing Core Competencies© - Licensed Practical Nurse (NOFNCC-LPN) are based on the understanding that LPNs share with the entire nursing community a commitment to providing safe, quality, cost-effective care and are an essential member of the healthcare team.

PDF Nursing Core Competencies - LPN May 2015
>> Nurse of the Future Core Competencies


College of Nursing at UMass Amherst Receives $600,000 Scholarship Award for Students in Accelerated Second Nursing Degree Program

The College of Nursing at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has been awarded $600,000 by the Helene Fuld Health Trust to fund financial aid for students in the school’s Accelerated Second Degree Baccalaureate Program.

College of Nursing Dean and MA Action Coalition member Stephen J. Cavanagh said students seeking an accelerated second bachelor’s degree in nursing are often among the most motivated and the most financially needy.

“They often have little to no access to funding,” said Cavanagh. “The Helene Fuld grant will help these students focus on their studies instead of a second job. They will also have significantly less debt when they enter the workforce or pursue a graduate degree.”

That funding will aid some students immediately, he added. The grant will support $300,000 toward the establishment of a permanent endowment fund for students in the second degree nursing program and $300,000 toward current-use financial aid, said Cavanagh. The grant itself will be paid in three installments over a three-year period.

>> Read the full press release


Core Competencies Developed for Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) in Massachusetts

Five years after the publication of the Nurse of the Future Nursing Core Competencies© - Registered Nurse (NOFNCC-RN) and their implementation into academic and practice settings across the state, Massachusetts nurse leaders have developed a similar set of competencies specific to the skills and abilities of the Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN).

Adapted from the RN-focused NOFNCC, the Nurse of the Future Nursing Core Competencies© - Licensed Practical Nurse (NOFNCC-LPN) are based on the understanding that LPNs share with the entire nursing community a commitment to providing safe, quality, cost-effective care and are an essential member of the healthcare team.

The MA NOFNCC-LPN were created by a task force convened by the Practical Nurse Educator Council of the Massachusetts and Rhode Island League for Nursing. The group has been working with the Nurse of the Future Working Group who originally developed the RN competencies. This work aligns with the priorities of the Massachusetts Action Coalition (MAAC) efforts to promote the use of competencies in all academic and practice settings throughout the state. With the MA Department of Higher Education and the Organization of Nurse Leaders of MA & RI as co-leaders, the MAAC is engaging health care providers, nurse educators, and public sector leaders to affect and support changes in how nurses are educated, trained, and practice in order to better serve the health care needs of the Commonwealth.

In developing the competencies, the task force reviewed and incorporated current practice standards, national and state-specific models, education accreditation standards, and projected patient demographic and healthcare profiles for Massachusetts. Extensive feedback was gathered from a variety of sources, including surveys and meetings with nursing education faculty, clinical practice partners, and nurse leaders from a variety of healthcare organizations.

Core Competencies for Licensed Practical Nurses in Massachusetts

As with the MA NOFNCC-RN, each of the core competencies is broken down into three specific areas -- essential knowledge, attitudes and behaviors, and skills – each of which identifies expectations for initial nursing practice following completion of a pre-licensure professional nursing educational program. The order of the competencies does not indicate any hierarchy, as all the competencies are of equal importance.

The core competencies for the LPN of the Future are:

Patient and Family-Centered Care: provide holistic care that recognizes the individual’s and family preferences, values and needs and respects the client or designee as a full partner in providing compassionate, coordinated, age and culturally appropriate, safe and effective care.

Professionalism: demonstrate accountability for the delivery of standard-based nursing care that is consistent with moral, altruistic, legal, ethical, regulatory, and humanistic principles.

Leadership: influence the behavior of individuals or groups of individuals in a way that will facilitate the achievement of shared goals. Includes problem solving, accountability, delegation, courage,

Systems-Based Practice: demonstrate an awareness of and responsiveness to the larger context of the health care system, and will demonstrate the ability to effectively call on microsystem resources to provide care that is of optimal quality and value.

Informatics and Technology: use information and technology to communicate, manage knowledge, mitigate error, and support decision-making. Communication: interact effectively with patients, families and colleagues, fostering mutual respect and shared decision making, to enhance client satisfaction and health outcomes.

Teamwork and Collaboration: function effectively within nursing and the interdisciplinary health care teams, fostering open communication, mutual respect, shared decision making, team learning and development (Adapted from QSEN, 2007). Noteworthy – understands, contributes to impact of effective team functioning on patient safety and quality of care

Safety: minimize risk of harm to patients and providers through both system effectiveness and individual performance.

Quality Improvement: collect data to monitor the outcomes of care and use data to continuously improve the quality and safety of health care systems. Evidence-Based Practice: will identify the value of using the best current evidence coupled with clinical expertise and consideration of patient’s preferences, experience and values to make practice decisions.

The full documents, Massachusetts Nurse of the Future Nursing Core Competencies – Licensed Practical Nurse and Massachusetts Nurse of the Future Nursing Core Competencies©-Registered Nurse (2010) are available on the Competencies page.

PDF Download the Brief
PDF Download Nurse of the Future Nursing Core Competencies© - Licensed Practical Nurse


Department of Higher Education Featured in ANA Massachusetts June Newsletter

Nurse of the Future Core Competencies and the new Nursing Education Transfer Policy were featured on the front page of the American Nurses Association (ANA) Massachusetts' June 2015 newsletter. Read about these initiatives and more in the Massachusetts Report on Nursing.

>> About ANA Massachusetts


Nursing and Allied Health Initiative Grant Program Announces Three Awards

The Nursing and Allied Health Initiative addresses the evolving education and workforce development needs of the health care sector, driven by health care reform and the demographics of the workforce.

The FY15 cycle of grants has several focus areas that reflect the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine’s report, Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health (2010), and the DHE’s Nursing and Allied Health Workforce Development plan (2012).

Three proposals were recommended for funding, totaling $143,749.

Grant Awardees:

  1. $47,772 to University of Massachusetts Lowell, working in partnership with the Lowell General Hospital and Genesis Healthcare. This grant will support their project for a Collaborative Post-Baccalaureate Nurse Residency Program. The project will develop and implement a residency program focused on nursing management of the older adult transitioning along the continuum of care. Precepted clinical experience in both acute and long term care settings will fill a gap in new nurses’ full appreciation of transitions in care and promote competence in caring for the adult patient across a range of acuity.

    >> Download the DOC Summary
  2. $49,578 to University of Massachusetts Boston, working in partnership with Good Samaritan Medical Center (part of the Steward Network). This grant will support Academic-Practice Partnerships developing a model to encourage incumbent nurses to advance their education inclusive of increasing diversity workforce addressing social, cultural, racial, gender, and disability. The project will focus on building a strong Support Model, addressing the factors that aid in student success and a Model Achieving Workforce Equity to be used to inform the development of a workforce diversity plan. It will incorporate best practices with a focus on removing barriers and facilitating academic progression, to support incumbent associate degree credentialed nurses to obtain their BSN.

    >> Download the DOC Summary
  3. $46,399 to Curry College, working in partnership with Beth Israel Deaconess Milton Hospital. The grant award shown is a maximum amount for all three phases of the project. Initially, funding will be released for Phase 1 and other payments will be contingent on the findings of Phase 1 which will determine the need for Phases 2 and 3. The grant will support a project entitled, The Clinical Preceptorship Model: Is It Time for Change in Approach? The project components include 1) a systematic investigation of the evidence-based literature relating to currently used and newly innovative clinical experiences for senior students in the last semester of their baccalaureate program; 2) based on the review, design and implementation of focus groups comprised of nursing faculty and experienced preceptors, with a mandate to identify factors that enhance or inhibit the current preceptorship model will be conducted; and 3) from analysis of focus group outcomes, evidence-based recommendations for a collaborative model that will best assist senior baccalaureate students to achieve personal goals and competencies will be developed.

    >> Download the DOC Summary

New Posters Available for Download


Easier Transfers will Help MA Nurses Advance Educations

Boston, MA – Beginning this fall, nurses seeking to advance their educations at Massachusetts public colleges and universities will benefit from a more streamlined and less expensive process for transferring credits.

The recently finalized Nursing Education Transfer Policy (NETP) creates a seamless, cost-effective, timely, and transparent pathway for students to progress from community college Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) programs to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree at a state university or UMass. Key benefits of the policy are that it:

Download the full PDF Press Release

Education Agreements in Massachusetts and North Carolina Will Help Nursing Students Earn BSNs - Robert Wood Johnson Foundation May 12, 2015

Easier Transfers Will Help Massachusetts Nurses Advance Education Streamlined Process to Take Effect for the 2015-2016 Academic Year - ANA Massachusetts June 2015

>> Learn More


NEW Massachusetts Action Coalition Fact Sheet

Download the NEW 2015 MAAC Fact Sheet

Massachusetts faces pressing health care challenges: an aging, more diverse population with more chronic conditions, rising costs, more people insured, and a shortage of providers. We can address these challenges now by maximizing the role of nurses, who are on the front-line of health care. More than 143,000 nurses are licensed in MA, the largest segment of the health care workforce.

The Massachusetts Action Coalition (MAAC) is a statewide coalition of nurse leaders representing practitioners, educators, and health care delivery organizations. The MAAC is providing leadership to improve outcomes and transform the health care system for every resident of the Commonwealth.

The Organization of Nurse Leaders of MA & RI and the MA Department of Higher Education (DHE) co-lead the coalition, one of 51 nationwide working to implement recommendations of the Institute of Medicine’s report: The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health (2010).

The MAAC builds on Massachusetts’ long-standing Nursing and Allied Health Initiative, launched in 2005 to address a looming shortage of registered nurses and nursing faculty.

>> Download the March 2015 MAAC Fact Sheet


New Report in the Massachusetts Health Professions Data Series

The Massachusetts Health Professions Data Series: Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) 2013 Report provides data about workforce demographics of LPNs licensed to practice in Massachusetts. This report is part of the Department of Public Health’s Health Professions Data Series, which currently reports on seven licensed health professions: dentists, dental hygienists, pharmacists, physicians, physician assistants, registered nurses, and licensed practical nurses.

Download this and more reports from the Massachusetts Health Care Workforce Center on our Reports and Documents page.


Geoff Vercauteren is New Director of Healthcare Workforce Development

Director of Healthcare Workforce Development, Geoff Vercauteren

Geoff Vercauteren joins the Nursing and Allied Health Initiative as the Director of Healthcare Workforce Development at the Department of Higher Education (DHE). He is charged with leading implementation of the Allied Health – Direct Care Workforce plan.

Geoff brings a breadth and depth of knowledge and experience to this work from his long history in statewide workforce development and his most recent assignments within the healthcare sector. Some of you may have known him over the years or through his recent collaboration as a member of the Boston Healthcare Careers Consortium. Geoff has begun his outreach across the Commonwealth and looks forward to meeting with leaders in the allied health field in the coming months as we launch early stage projects and continue to refine our understanding of the nature, scope and scale of the workforce challenges in this sector.

The Allied Health – Direct Care workforce plan has been presented to and endorsed by the Board of Higher Education which will monitor its implementation as a companion to the Nursing workforce plan approved in 2012. These two initiatives and the communities that inform and guide investments in this work represent the current evolution of the Nursing and Allied Initiative Health Advisory Committee, an initiative of DHE dating back to 2005. Many are eager for the recommendations of the Allied Health – Direct Care plan to translate into action, which is Geoff’s priority. His contact information is provided on the Contact Us page.


Report Explores the Complex Challenges of Nursing Faculty Capacity

Boston, Mass. -- Massachusetts higher education and health care leaders have been working on initiatives to advance and expand the nursing workforce, with the goal of raising the percentage of Registered Nurses with a BSN or higher from 55% to 66% by 2020. Achieving this goal is contingent upon many factors, such as classroom and laboratory facilities, clinical opportunities, and sufficient faculty capacity within nurse education programs.

Nursing schools nationwide report a shortage of faculty and an inability to hire additional faculty. Among the reasons reported are (a) insufficient funds to hire new faculty; (b) unwillingness of administration to commit to additional full-time positions; (c) inability to recruit qualified faculty because of competition for jobs with other marketplaces; (d) and qualified applicants for faculty positions are unavailable in their geographic area.

A team of nursing faculty and administrative leaders at several Massachusetts colleges and universities, public and private, has explored the complex challenges of faculty capacity in the MA Action Coalition Report on Nursing Faculty Workforce Challenges in Massachusetts. The group is one of several project teams convened by the Massachusetts Action Coalition (MAAC) leading work under a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Academic Progression in Nursing grant. With the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education and the Organization of Nurse Leaders of MA & RI as co-leaders, the MAAC is engaging health care providers, nurse educators, and public sector leaders to effect and support changes in how nurses are educated, trained, and practice in order to better serve the health care needs of the Commonwealth.

As it relates to the overall mission of the work, which is to address the need for sustainable, competent faculty to educate professional nurses, the goal for this initiative is to increase the faculty pool available to educate nurses from BSN through doctoral degrees. The strategies identified address challenges from both the recruitment and retention lens, as well as the retirement perspective.

PDF Press Release
PDF MA Action Coalition Report on Nursing Faculty Workforce Challenges in Massachusetts


Employers Surveyed on Activities to Promote Advanced Education and Diversity in their Nursing Workforce

Boston, Mass. -- According to a recent study of Massachusetts health care employers, 90 percent of acute care hospitals have a formal goal to increase the proportion of nurses with bachelor’s degrees (BSN) in their workforce, but fewer than half require new hires or current nursing staff to achieve that level.

The 2013 survey of Massachusetts health care employers -- acute care and community hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and visiting nurse associations – provides an overview of the various activities employers are undertaking to promote advanced education and diversity in their RN workforce. Massachusetts has set a goal of boosting the percentage of nurses with bachelor’s degrees (BSN) from 55% to 66% by 2020. Studies show that higher proportions of BSN-prepared nurses are associated with lower rates of medication errors and mortality. Research also shows that BSN-prepared nurses have stronger critical thinking skills and make better care decisions.

The findings were released in the MA Action Coalition’s Report on Employer Practices Survey Results, prepared by a team of nurse practice leaders and nurse educators convened by the Massachusetts Action Coalition (MAAC). With the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education and the Organization of Nurse Leaders of MA & RI as co-leaders, the MAAC is engaging health care providers, nurse educators, and public sector leaders to effect and support changes in how nurses are educated, trained, and practice in order to better serve the health care needs of the Commonwealth.

PDF Press Release
PDF Employer Practices Survey Results - December 2014 Report


Nurses Play Pivotal Role in Advancing Healthcare

National and State Goals, Best Practices are Focus of Workforce Summit

David Cedrone, Associate Commissioner for Economic and Workforce Development, MA Department of Higher Education; Sharon Gale, CEO, Organization of Nurse Leaders of MA & RI; Pat Crombie, MA Action Coalition/APIN Project Director; Mary Dickow, Statewide Director of the California Action Coalition; Bryan Hoffman, Program Manager of RWJF’s Academic Progression in Nursing (APIN) initiative
Summit sponsors and keynote speakers (L-R) David Cedrone, Associate Commissioner for Economic and Workforce Development, MA Department of Higher Education; Sharon Gale, CEO, Organization of Nurse Leaders of MA & RI; Pat Crombie, MA Action Coalition/APIN Project Director; Mary Dickow, Statewide Director of the California Action Coalition; Bryan Hoffman, Program Manager of RWJF’s Academic Progression in Nursing (APIN) initiative

Nurses are the largest workforce in America and are playing a pivotal role in advancing health care and improving patient care nationwide and in the Commonwealth. That message was highlighted repeatedly at the recent Massachusetts Healthcare Workforce Summit, attended by approximately 150 nurse leaders, educators, nurses, and health care employers from around the state.

The October 2, 2014 event was organized by the Massachusetts Action Coalition (MAAC), a partnership of the MA Dept. of Higher Education and the Organization of Nurse Leaders of MA & RI, which is leading a statewide campaign to transform health care through nursing education and practice innovations.

“Today’s focus is on the nursing workforce, but the role of nursing in advancing health reform expands beyond workforce development,” noted Patricia Crombie, MSN, RN, MAAC Project Director. “We must engage the larger community, so that everyone understands the important role nurses play in improving the health of all residents and employees.”

PDF Summary of 2014 Massachusetts Healthcare Workforce Summit

PDF Healthcare Workforce Summit Briefing and Best Practices Presentation
PDF RWJF's Academic Progression in Nursing Presentation by Bryan Hoffman, APIN Program Manager
PDF Future of Nursing Campaign for Action Presentation by Mary Dickow, California Action Coalition Director


Report: Massachusetts Law, Regulations Among Most Restrictive in Practice of Advanced Practice RNs

Boston, MA -- While Massachusetts has led the nation in health reform, the laws and regulations that govern how some of the Commonwealth’s most highly trained nurses are authorized to practice remain amongst the most restrictive in the nation.

Legislative and institutional barriers prevent Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs), including Certified Nurse Midwives, Nurse Practitioners, Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialists and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, from practicing to the full extent of their education and training. These restrictions limit patients’ access to high-quality, cost effective health care across a variety of specialties including primary care, internal medicine, and pediatrics where patient care needs exceed physician supply.

These findings, along with regional comparisons and a gap analysis, which assessed the Massachusetts Nurse Practice Act against the National Council of the State Boards of Nursing’s Consensus Model for APRN Regulation, are detailed in the MA Action Coalition Report, The Advanced Practice Nurse in Massachusetts.

The report was prepared by a 20-member team of nursing professionals from academic and practice settings as well as advanced practice professional organizations. The group is one of several project teams convened by the Massachusetts Action Coalition (MAAC), which is engaging health care providers, nurse educators, and public sector leaders to affect and support changes in how nurses are educated, trained, and practice in order to better serve the health care needs of the Commonwealth.

For key findingas of the report, download the full PDF Press Release.

PDF The Advanced Practice Nurse in Massachusetts - Full Report


Program promoting nursing degrees shows gains

By Matt Roucheleau, Globe Correspondent
October 13, 2014

The Boston Globe logo

The results are generating optimism as officials embark on similar initiatives to educate more workers in other surging sectors, including technology, life sciences, and manufacturing, which experts believe could face labor shortages, if they do not already.

“Massachusetts is a state that lives by its wit — we need a highly educated workforce,” said Richard M. Freeland, the state’s commissioner of higher education. “But the state is currently underproducing graduates for all of these fields.”

Four years ago, in response to those shortages, state higher education officials partnered with universities and businesses to explore ways to improve graduation rates and align degree programs with workforce needs.

The first experiment, launched in the fall of 2012, was to boost the number of nurses with four-year degrees.

Experts say a large percentage of nurses will soon retire, which will create a shortage within the profession, and there is particular demand for nurses who hold a bachelor’s degree or higher.
“Nurses educated at the baccalaureate level or higher have been linked to better patient outcomes. The evidence is irrefutable,” said Gino Chisari, former president of the American Nurses Association of Massachusetts, who directs a clinical and professional development center at Massachusetts General Hospital.

>> Continues on BostonGlobe.com


Massachusetts Coalition Receives 2nd $300,000 Grant to Advance Nurse Education and Build More Diverse Nursing Workforce

BOSTON – July 31, 2014 - Massachusetts is one of nine states awarded a $300,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to create a more highly educated, diverse nursing workforce. This is the second RWJF grant, part of its national Academic Progression in Nursing (APIN) initiative, to support Massachusetts' efforts to make it easier for current and future nurses to advance their education to the BSN or higher degree.

>>More Info

PRINCETON, NJ – July 28, 2014 -The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) today announced that nine states have been awarded $300,000 grants in Phase II of its Academic Progression in Nursing program (APIN). APIN is advancing state and regional strategies aimed at creating a more highly educated, diverse nursing workforce. It is run by the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) on behalf of the Tri-Council for Nursing, consisting of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the National League for Nursing, American Nurses Association, and AONE, which is leading the four-year initiative. “Action Coalitions” in all nine states that were part of Phase I of the program have met or exceeded their benchmarks, and are receiving funding to continue their work for two additional years. Funding to the states over the four years will total $5.4 million.

>>More Info


MA Board of Higher Ed Approves Allied Health Direct Care Workforce Plan

At its last meeting of the year at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston (MassArt), the BHE approved the Massachusetts Allied Health Direct Care Workforce Plan to create “stackable credentials” for workers in community-based settings. The largely female direct care workforce includes certified nurse assistants, medical assistants, personal care and home health aides, who typically work in low-wage, non-benefitted positions.

“These are people who are on the new front lines of our health care system,” said David Cedrone, Associate Commissioner for Economic and Workforce Development. “We need to grow this workforce and provide them with educational pathways that allow them to acquire credentials that ‘stack’ to for-credit college courses, certificates, and degrees.”

Our Commonwealth’s higher education network, specifically community colleges, serve as integral partners in training the direct care workers," said Lisa Gurgone, Executive Director of the Home Care Aide Council. "The DHE plan offers a vision for ways to both strengthen the existing relationships between long term care providers and the higher education network and strategies for developing new partnerships and opportunities to support this essential workforce moving forward.”

PDF Allied Health Direct Care Workforce Plan


MA Toolkit Cover

MA Action Coalition Releases Nursing Core Competencies Toolkit As Part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Academic Progression in Nursing Grant Program

The Massachusetts Action Coalition (MAAC) has released “The Massachusetts Nursing Core Competencies: A Toolkit for Implementation in Education and Practice Settings,” a new resource guide designed to help facilitate the implementation of Massachusetts Nurse of the Future Nursing Core Competencies© (NOFNCC).

See also: Nurse of the Future Nursing Core Competencies - ANA Massachusetts June 2015 Newsletter

>> More info


MA Action Coalition Featured in MARN Newsletter

In their March 2014 edition, MARN featured an article written by MAAC member Ashley Waddell, entitled, Time to Go Back to School? Massachusetts Action Coalition Works to Improve Academic Progression in Nursing.

>> More Info


Nurse-Focused Care Transitions Education Program Gets National Attention

March 14 - The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has published an article featuring the Massachusetts Senior Care Foundation's Care Transitions Education Project (CTEP).

"Care transitions - when patients are transferred from one care provider or setting to another—are a fragile point on the health care continuum. A group of health care experts, including nurses, are working to improve care transitions and are getting national attention for their efforts.

In February, the Massachusetts Senior Care Foundation received a prestigious award from the American Health Care Association (AHCA) in part because of its Care Transitions Education Project (CTEP), which trains nurses to lead and improve care transitions."

>> Read the full article
>> Learn more about the Care Transitions Education Project


Massachusetts Healthcare Chartbook cover

MA Board of Higher Education Supports New Nursing Compact, Endorses Effort to Streamline Student Transfer to Four-Year Programs

Boston, MA–February 21, 2014–The Massachusetts Board of Higher Education (BHE) is taking steps to make it easier for nurses to pursue advanced degrees, with the goal of improving patient outcomes across the Commonwealth.

On January 28 the BHE endorsed a new Nursing Education Transfer Compact developed by the Massachusetts Action Coalition (MAAC), a partnership between the Organization of Nurse Leaders of Massachusetts and Rhode Island and the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education.

>> More Info