The nursing pipeline in the United States is constrained partly because of a lack of qualified nurse educators, leading nursing schools to cap how many students they can accept and hospitals to cap how many clinical rotations they can offer. To help fix this issue, the US Department of Labor has awarded more than $78 million in grants to support workforce training and increase diversity among nurse educators.
The nearly 4.2 million registered nurses in the US make up the largest segment of US health care professionals. Despite these numbers, the profession faces significant staffing challenges. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an average of 203,200 openings for registered nurses each year through 2031.
The Department of Labor’s initiative will support workforce education programs in 17 states and address staffing challenges in hospitals and other health care facilities. The primary purpose of the grants is to educate nurses who want to teach in nursing programs or be clinical instructors. The grant is also intended to help diversify the workforce by embedding diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility strategies into programs.
“By doing so, the programs will ensure people from historically marginalized and underrepresented communities have pathways to good jobs and careers in nursing,” according to the US Department of Labor.
“The grants we’re awarding today recognize the burden so many nurses have shouldered for too long by supporting programs to expand and diversify the workforce,” said Acting Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training Brent Parton. “These investments will also help to ensure the nation’s well-being and continue to strengthen our care economy using proven practices and strategies.”
MGH Institute of Health Professions Awarded Second Largest Grant
MGH Institute of Health Professions (IHP) received nearly $6 million of the Department of Labor’s grant (Table) and will partner with the Mass General Brigham health system to increase the number of nurse educators. This additional education is essential given the new 2023 Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing (BORN) regulations requiring all nursing faculty to have a master’s degree in nursing or National League for Nursing certification as a nurse educator with expertise in the clinical setting.
“When you think about this many nurse educators being trained and multiply that by the impact they could have in a year educating hundreds of future nurses, this is truly a systemic change,” said MJ Ryan, Sr, Director of Workforce Development & Economic Opportunity Human Resources for Mass General Brigham. “I think anything that we can do to make a dent in the thousands of people being turned away from nursing programs, because of faculty limitations, has the potential to be a total game changer.”
The grant money at MGH Institute of Health Professions will pay the full tuition and expenses of 224 nurses within the Mass General Brigham health care system and other academic institutions in the region who enroll in one of the Institute’s 3 nurse education programs: MS in Leadership in Nursing Education (MS-LNE), Post-Master’s Certificate in Nursing Education (PMC-NE), or Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Certified Academic Clinical Nurse Educator (CNEcl) preparation course.
“This is what we do — prepare the next generation of nursing leaders; it’s what the IHP has been doing for decades and this is simply an extension of that,” said School of Nursing Dean Dr Kenneth White, who is also President of the American Academy of Nursing. “Focusing on the number of nurses is not the only solution; we have to focus on the number of instructors, and that’s what this grant is doing.”
Table. Nursing Expansion Grant Program Recipients
|The University of Alabama||Tuscaloosa||AL||$3,543,416|
|Alaska Pacific University||Anchorage||AK||$2,999,913|
|Yavapai County Community College District||Prescott||AZ||$1,124,821|
|Arizona State University||Tempe||AZ||$5,475,660|
|The Regents of the University of California (Davis)||Davis||CA||$5,999,908|
|Asian American Drug Abuse Program Inc.||Los Angeles||CA||$3,000,000|
|Riverside Community College District/Riverside City College||Riverside||CA||$2,681,768|
|Broward College||Fort Lauderdale||FL||$3,000,000|
|Spalding University Inc.||Louisville||KY||$2,371,023|
|Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions||Charlestown||MA||$5,885,354|
|Montana State University Billings||Billings||MT||$1,948,894|
|Community Health Care Center Inc.||Great Falls||MT||$3,000,000|
|Atlantic Health System Inc.||Morristown||NJ||$2,785,263|
|Thomas Edison State University||Trenton||NJ||$2,761,271|
|Northwell Health Inc.||New Hyde Park||NY||$2,999,890|
|Healthcare Industry Grant Corp.||New York||NY||$3,000,000|
|University of Jamestown||Jamestown||ND||$2,329,543|
|Cuyahoga Community College District||Cleveland||OH||$2,999,813|
|Sanford Health||Sioux Falls||SD||$2,954,400|
|University of South Dakota||Vermillion||SD||$3,000,000|
|Valley Initiative for Development and Advancement||Mercedes||TX||$3,000,000|
|Employ Milwaukee Inc.||Milwaukee||WI||$3,000,000|
|Forward Careers Inc.||Waukesha||WI||$2,482,195|
1. U.S. Dept. of Labor awards grant to MGH Institute to help expand nursing pipelines. News release. May 17, 2023. Accessed May 22, 2023. https://www.mghihp.edu/news-and-more/news/us-dept-labor-awards-grant-mgh-institute-help-expand-nursing-pipelines
2. US Department of Labor awards $78m for nursing programs to strengthen, diversify workforce to fill quality jobs in 17 states. News release. May 11, 2023. Accessed May 22, 2034. https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/eta/eta20230511-0