Evaluating Innovations in Nursing Education (EIN) supports evaluations of interventions that expand teaching capacity or promote faculty recruitment and retention in nursing schools. The program aims to increase the number of nursing school graduates by evaluating strategies that address the nurse faculty shortage. An important program activity is the dissemination of successful strategies for widespread replication in other nursing education settings.
The Institute of Medicine’s (IOM’s) report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, challenges the profession to offer optimal education and training to meet the demands of a reformed health care and public health system. Achievement of five of its eight recommendations will depend upon significant changes in the capacity and scope of nursing education: increase the proportion of nurses with a baccalaureate degree to 80 percent by 2020; double the number of nurses with a doctorate by 2020; implement nurse residency programs; ensure that nurses engage in lifelong learning; and prepare and enable nurses to lead change to advance health (for a presentation of the full set of the report’s recommendations, link here).
Nursing’s capacity to serve current workforce needs is undermined by an acute shortage of nurse faculty. Nursing schools turn away thousands of qualified applicants in part because there are not enough faculty members available to teach them (AACN 2009); preliminary data indicate that during the past year, those numbers increased by 25% (AACN 2010).
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) is committed to addressing nursing workforce issues. The Foundation’s programs seek to ensure that our nation has enough well-prepared nurses from diverse backgrounds to meet our current and future needs. Central to these efforts, RWJF commissioned the IOM report on the future of nursing and is supporting the Campaign for Action, a collaborative effort to implement solutions to the challenges facing the nursing profession, and to build upon nurse-based approaches to improving quality of care. Furthering this commitment, Evaluating Innovations in Nursing Education (EIN) will fund research projects that illuminate issues relating to teaching productivity and faculty preparation whose resolution is critical to achieving the IOM recommendations.