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As NUCLI began to take shape, a serious barrier to the projects' success soon emerged. There is a statewide shortage of faculty, which is expected to grow considerably over the next 2-5 years. At a time when there is a waiting list of eligible applicants at almost every college of nursing in Massachusetts, some schools may be unable to educate even those students already enrolled.

In response to this information, the NUCLI State Advisory Committee (SAC) began an in-depth analysis of the problem to formulate a statewide focus and make recommendations to alleviate this shortage.

    The analysis included:

  • Intensive interviews with deans and faculty in schools of nursing across the state
  • A study entitled, "But Who Will Teach Them", identifying the multiple interdependent issues affecting the faculty shortage and identifying promising practices and potential solutions
  • A white paper entitled, "The Faculty Shortage: A Public Health Crisis," outlining a public policy approach and statewide model for alleviating the shortage
    The major components of the statewide model include:

  • Education and stakeholder involvement focusing on the discussion and dissemination of information on partnership models and resources needed at regional levels throughout the state.
  • A public policy agenda focusing on incorporating faculty incentives into pending legislation on the nursing shortage, an evaluation of the most effective approach to deal with the need for comprehensive data on the faculty shortage, and the impact of budget reductions and early retirement on nursing education programs.
  • A statewide faculty shortage alleviation initiative to develop a multi-stakeholder group to oversee a strategy that will focus on the development of healthcare/employer/education partnerships. The partnership models would receive funding to support:
    • The training and loaning of nurses to teach in partner schools and/or supervise clinical rotations
    • The recruitment and enrollment of nurses into fast-track nurse educator programs (Masters and Doctoral)
  • The establishment of Centers of Partnerships in Nursing Education, research, and practice to begin demonstration projects between educational institutions and employers or consortiums of employers focused on joint research, education, leadership, and doctoral fellowships.

Currently, the SAC is concentrating on identifying and seeking possible funding alternatives to support the implementation of this faculty shortage initiative.

For more information on this initiative, please contact Eleni Papadakis, Vice President, Center for Workforce Innovation at

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