The Massachusetts Action Coalition is committed to leading the local campaign for action to support health care reform through a well educated and skilled nursing workforce. As one of nine state action coalitions included in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Academic Progression in Nursing (APIN) initiative , we're working to advance state and regional strategies aimed at creating a more highly educated, diverse nursing workforce.

Recent achievements include:

  1. Approval of statewide Nursing Education Transfer Compact (NETC), making it easier to for students to transfer academic credits;
  2. Working with employers and nursing education programs to increase options for flexible, student-centered programs that will make it easier for working nurses to advance their educations;
  3. Creation of education and marketing materials to help nurses advance their educations, including The Time is Right to Go Back to School!
  4. Publication and distribution of Nurse of the Future Core Competencies Toolkit



In Massachusetts, we need to better align our education and practice environments to enable a more diverse community of nursing candidates and practicing nurses to attain higher levels of education, consistent with the needs of our evolving healthcare system.


Massachusetts has made great strides in aligning our nursing education programs with the needs of healthcare providers through a longstanding collaboration of academic, practice and industry partners. We are working to redesign our nursing education system to allow for increased access and seamless progression through all levels of nursing degrees. To achieve this, the Massachusetts Action Coalition is building from the nationally-recognized Massachusetts Nurse of the Future Nursing Core Competencies© as a framework for a competency-based curricula spanning all academic and practice settings. Work is now underway to define and implement models of seamless academic progression from Practical Nurse through Registered Nurse to Advanced Practice Nurse.



Nurses offer a valuable perspective to the challenges of inter-professional healthcare delivery and must be prepared to contribute to discussions about healthcare policy as well as to lead direct care-delivery teams.


We understand that communicating the value of nursing leadership and building allies are critical to providing opportunities for nurses to take on leadership roles. At the same time nurses must develop leadership competencies and identify opportunities to contribute their value. We will engage Massachusetts’s nurses at all levels to train and provide them with opportunities to lead.


Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN), especially nurse practitioners, are limited in their ability to practice to the full extent of their education and training.



Collaborative partnerships are being developed to engage inter-disciplinary leaders within the medical community in an effort to advance a dialog on this topic. Our team is developing a white paper to share with partners that defines “ideal practice” for each APRN specialty area. These efforts will lay the foundation to remove barriers, and ensure the delivery of high quality health care to patients and families in our state.

Interprofessional Collaboration

To ensure high quality, patient-centered care, nurses, physicians and other health professionals must collaborate in education and practice, and across all health care settings.


We are building partnerships with diverse stakeholders, including physicians and other health providers, to support, spread and implement models of inter-professional collaboration in education and practice.


Massachusetts’s population is becoming increasingly diverse. As patient-centered care is a tenet of high-quality care, our nursing workforce must increasingly reflect the communities our nurses serve.


We will work with our colleagues throughout the state to communicate the value of diversifying the nursing workforce to reflect the state’s population, while also looking to other successful programs as models for implementation. In addition, we are actively reaching out to various minority organizations to develop the partnerships needed to implement diversity in the nursing workforce.


Until recently, we have had limited ability to conduct comprehensive demographic data collection and analysis to inform workforce strategies. Obtaining a clear picture of “who are the nurses working in Massachussetts” will greatly help to inform workforce planning efforts.


Improvements in survey designs and response rates conducted at the time of license renewal are improving our baseline data on the nursing workforce. Starting in 2010, the Board of Registration in Nursing began collecting a Minimum Data Set of key demographics describing the nursing workforce through an online survey at license renewal. The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, an Action Coalition co-lead, is conducting a preliminary analysis of this data to inform education and workforce development strategies consistent with the demands of our changing health care system.



David Cedrone, Associate Commissioner for Economic and Workforce Development and STEM Massachusetts Department of Higher Education

Amanda Stefancyk Oberlies, CEO Organization of Nurse Leaders MA, RI, NH, CT

Patricia Crombie, Project Director, Massachusetts Action Coalition & APIN Grant

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Organization of Nurse Leaders
MA Department of Higher Education
American Nurses Association Massachusetts
Coalition of Advanced Practice Nurses  
Home Care Alliance of MA
MA Association of Colleges of Nursing
MA Board of Registration in Nursing
MA Coalition of Nurse Practitioners
MA Hospital Association
MA Nurse of the Future Initiative
MA Nurses Association
MA Senior Care Foundation
MA/RI League for Nursing
Nurses United for Responsible Services 

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