In This Issue:

Victory: New Law Aims to Alleviate New Jersey’s Nurse Faculty Shortage
NJ Nursing Scholars Convene at Annual Meeting
Leader’s Column – Identifying Critical Resources
Building a Collaborative Learning Community: Q & A with Diane Billings
RWJF New Jersey Nursing Scholars Go Way Back
Did You Know…?
Toward Creating a Business Alliance
Nation’s Top Experts Re-Envision Clinical Education

Victory: New Law Aims to Alleviate New Jersey’s Nurse Faculty Shortage

New Jersey became the 17th state to provide loan forgiveness for nursing faculty on January 16 when Acting Governor Stephen M. Sweeney signed the Nursing Faculty Loan Redemption Program Act into law. The state senate passed the bill unanimously on January 11, declaring a nursing workforce shortage of “crisis proportions” caused, in part, by a shortage of faculty members at the state’s schools of nursing. The state assembly passed it earlier, on January 7.
The new law calls for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Jersey Nursing Initiative (NJNI) to work with the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority to create incentives for persons to enter graduate nursing education programs by providing loan redemption in exchange for full-time employment in the state as a nurse faculty member.
“In New Jersey, as elsewhere, we are facing a debilitating shortage of nurse faculty, and as a result many of our schools of nursing are being forced to turn away qualified students who want to become nurses,” said Susan Bakewell-Sachs, Ph.D., R.N., P.N.P.-B.C., program director for NJNI and dean of the School of Nursing, Health, and Exercise Science at The College of New Jersey. “With so many nurses at or near retirement, the population aging and chronic diseases affecting more people, our state’s health care system will be strained to the breaking point. We commend lawmakers for passing the Nursing Faculty Loan Redemption Program to address this problem now, before it worsens. This law will have lasting benefits for our state’s health care system and its residents.”
The program will address the nurse faculty shortage by providing incentives for individuals to pursue masters and doctoral degrees in nursing. The minimum educational requirement for nurse faculty in New Jersey is a master’s degree in nursing (MSN), as set by the New Jersey Board of Nursing regulations. Upon graduation, the program will provide loan redemption in exchange for full-time faculty employment for five years at a school of nursing in the state.
The New Jersey Collaborating Center for Nursing at Rutgers reports that there are 567 full-time nurse faculty working in the state. Their average age is 55, and 74 of them are expected to retire within five years. More than half the state’s nursing schools already limit student enrollment due, in part, to limited faculty lines. For doctorally prepared faculty in particular, it can be challenging for schools to find qualified faculty applicants.

NJ Nursing Scholars Convene at Annual Meeting

Classes had started at their respective schools, but the first-ever group of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) New Jersey Nursing Scholars had never met face-to-face until now—the first New Jersey Nursing Initiative (NJNI) Annual Meeting in October. The two-day meeting was an introduction to RWJF and the NJNI, and an opportunity to learn more about what would be expected of them as Scholars and nurse educators.
“Your job is so critically important… You’re going to touch the entire health care system—New Jersey and beyond,” RWJF senior advisor for nursing Susan Hassmiller, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., told them the first morning. “You are answering the call to ensure that New Jersey has the well prepared and diverse nurse faculty it needs… We want New Jersey to be the go-to place for nursing and nursing education.”
NJNI is a five-year, multi-million dollar project of RWJF and the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce Foundation, which is transforming nursing education in the state and ensuring that it has the well prepared, diverse nursing faculty needed in the future. A major goal is to increase the number of nurse faculty in the state, so there will be enough nurses to meet the needs of state residents.
One component is the Faculty Preparation Program, which is providing full scholarships and $50,000 per year stipends to full-time masters’ and doctoral students who plan to become nurse faculty in New Jersey. In addition to scholarships and stipends, a financial incentive program will encourage the scholars to take faculty positions at New Jersey nursing programs. The 29 Scholars who attended the Annual Meeting are the first cohort. The Faculty Preparation Program has awarded $13.5M in grants to New Jersey based nursing programs and education collaboratives, each run by a project director.
Becoming a New Jersey Nursing Scholar
The meeting provided opportunities for the Scholars to network with one another, project directors, RWJF program officers and others. Scholars took the opportunity to discuss their shared excitement and anxiety, and acquire valuable advice from mentors and experienced teachers.
During a breakout session, Bob Atkins, Ph.D., R.N., an assistant professor in the College of Nursing at Rutgers and an RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholar, gave the Scholars advice on how to maximize their experience. Gwen Sherwood, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., professor and associate dean for academic affairs at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing, also shared her wisdom, discussing team dynamics and challenging the Scholars to evaluate how their beliefs, knowledge and experiences affect the way they view their upcoming journeys.
Building the Collaborative Learning Community
The Scholars will participate in a series of webinars, online discussions and face-to-face meetings as part of a Collaborative Learning Community (CLC) that will provide important lessons and information that will help them pursue their careers as nurse educators. [See NJNI Newsletter story: “Building a Collaborative Learning Community: Q & A with Diane Billings” in this issue for more information.]
Diane M. Billings, Ed.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., chancellor’s professor emeritus of nursing at Indiana University School of Nursing, Indianapolis, and facilitator of the CLC, led the scholars in a discussion about the role of the nurse educator. A panel of educators provided insights into what to expect in the classroom and in the academy as faculty members. They explained that nurse faculty are more than just teachers; they are researchers and mentors, and they give back to the community when they continue to practice as nurses.
Advice from Nurse Leaders
Patricia Benner, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania and professor emerita from University of California, San Francisco, gave the second day keynote speech, “Celebrating our Successes – Facing Our Challenges.” She drew on the results of the Carnegie Preparation for Professions Program study, the first national nursing education study in 30 years, to share best practices for compelling and effective teaching. Benner served as senior scholar on the Carnegie study research team.
The “Innovations in Nursing Education” session featured a panel of veteran nursing faculty, who discussed innovations and expanded on their respective topics in breakout sessions afterwards. Pamela Jeffries, D.N.S., R.N., F.A.A.N., A.N.E.F., associate dean of academic affairs at Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, talked about the use of simulations as practice, a teaching method and an assessment tool. University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey at Newark School of Nursing professor David Anthony (Tony) Forrester, Ph.D., R.N., A.N.E.F., discussed ways the Scholars can enhance their students’ classroom experiences, as well as their own as educators. Diane Skiba, Ph.D., F.A.A.N., F.A.C.M.I., demonstrated how technology is being used in nursing education, from basic online courses to innovative, elaborate virtual reality classrooms.
“We are in an extraordinary place and time of aligning forces for transformative change,” said NJNI Director Susan Bakewell-Sachs, Ph.D., R.N., P.N.P.-B.C., who is the Carol Kuser Loser dean and professor of nursing at The College of New Jersey in Ewing. “We have the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. We have the engagement of the business community. We have faculty preparation scholars and program faculty committed to the future of nursing education, and a context of national expectation for improved health and health care.”
To learn more about the New Jersey Nursing Scholars, visit

Leader’s Column – Identifying Critical Resources

By Susan Bakewell-Sachs, Ph.D., R.N., P.N.P.-B.C., NJNI Program Director
The overall goal of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Jersey Nursing Initiative (NJNI) is to ensure that New Jersey has the well prepared, diverse nurse faculty needed to educate nurses to meet the demand for health and health care in the 21st century. A key part of developing solutions to the projected nursing workforce shortage is identifying the resources we have available and where the need is greatest. This past summer, NJNI laid the groundwork with a statewide asset mapping project that is helping to detect the strengths and challenges facing the state’s nursing workforce.
Asset mapping is designed to identify people, places and other items in the state that can serve as resources as we work to eliminate the nursing shortage. To help us identify these resources, we hosted a series of regional meetings in July, with more than 100 experts from the nursing, education, business, health care and government fields providing key insights. The meetings took place at Cumberland Community College, co-hosted by the South Jersey Medical Center, at Fairleigh Dickinson University—Florham Park, and at the New Jersey Hospital Association.
The information we’ve been able to gather from our colleagues is impressive, and will soon be available on our website, We have learned not only what resources we have, and how to best leverage them, but also what resources we lack and where. This information will be vital as we move forward.
Additionally, through social network mapping, we have been able to identify the nature of existing relationships, for example how well the nursing education community is connected to the business community and others. This will help us strengthen existing relationships and foster new ones where they are lacking—all with the goal of promoting nurse faculty capacity among traditional allies and new interested partners.
The asset mapping project has also brought to our attention innovative partnerships within the state that are already working together to address the nursing workforce and can help us replicate these successful models.
In all, we are off to a wonderful start to 2010, and are looking forward to working with you as we continue advancing our work! We are excited to share the asset mapping results, and to invite you to get involved and share your expertise as we make New Jersey a model for nursing and nursing education.

Building a Collaborative Learning Community: Q & A with Diane Billings

The Collaborative Learning Community (CLC) is a new and innovative approach to nurse education that enables participants to learn about timely topics and interact with each other and with leaders in the field. The program, a component of the New Jersey Nursing Initiative, blends face-to-face meetings and workshops with a series of Web-based seminars, or webinars, and online discussions. The 10-seminar program takes place over a period of two years and is open to Robert Wood Johnson New Jersey Nursing Scholars, faculty, mentors and others interested in improving nurse education.
The program is led by Diane M. Billings, Ed.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., the chancellor’s professor emerita at Indiana University’s School of Nursing in Indianapolis. Excerpts from a recent interview with her follow:
Q: What are the goals of the Collaborative Learning Community?
A: We’re hoping that Scholars get to know and learn from each other and that they share resources with one another. We also hope to use the program to develop a sustainable model for schools across the state to cultivate, recruit and retain nurse faculty.
Q: How have you integrated technology into the program, and what have these innovations enabled you and the Scholars to do?
A: We are conducting a series of webinars for Scholars, faculty, mentors and other partner institutions that contribute to the Scholars’ development. We also host online discussion forums and post information about the program and other nurse education resources in the online component of the Collaborative Learning Community.
Q: How are the Scholars responding?
They are doing great. They are active participants; they are networking; they’re learning about their classmates’ views; they’re thinking and reflecting on their own practice as nurse educators; and they’re being thoughtful and sharing resources.
Q: You launched the CLC with a discussion you led about the role of nurse educators. What was your main message?
A: That there are many aspects to the role of nurse educator, from organizing clinical experiences, to classroom teaching, to learning about various teaching and evaluation strategies.
Q: What have other webinars focused on so far?
A: So far, we have focused on understanding the needs of students. In one session we discussed the diversity of student learning styles and skill levels, and in another webinar we had a panel of nurse educators who shared their expertise about the impact of race and gender in student learning. We also covered strategies to promote a multicultural learning environment for students.
Q: Can you give us a preview of what’s next?
A: We will have webinars about innovations in clinical teaching; technology and nursing education; and how to manage classroom challenges such as academic honesty and disruptive behavior.
Q: How has the program affected the participants?
A: The Scholars and the faculty are getting to know each other by participating in the webinars and in online follow-up discussions. We’re hoping to build these kinds of relationships so that students have a broad network of contacts throughout their careers. I’m especially pleased that the faculty who are working with the Scholars are also participating. It really enriches the community when the faculty and the student mentors and project directors are engaged.
Q: Why is this kind of community important?
A: We want New Jersey to be known as a place where teaching matters, where we have excellent, well-prepared faculty who are using the ‘best practices’ in nursing education.
Q: What do Scholars get out of the program?
A: The program enhances Scholars’ education and provides great networking opportunities that will help them now and down the road. Being a Scholar is a real entrée into professional practice.
Q: How will you evaluate the program?
A: We will continually evaluate the program. By the end of the two years, Scholars will have a portfolio of work they have completed that addresses the various competencies expected of a nurse educator. The Scholars, faculty and the RWJF evaluators and project team will use these portfolios to document the Scholar’s learning throughout the grant period.

RWJF New Jersey Nursing Scholars Go Way Back

Neighbors Tara Lynne Parker and Maryann Magloire-Wilson recently discovered they are members of the same small group of future leaders in nurse education.
Tara Lynne Parker, R.N., B.S.N., and Maryann Magloire-Wilson, R.N., B.A., see each other all the time: They live in the same small community in northwest New Jersey and send their children to the same elementary school.
But they never expected to bump into each other at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) in Princeton, N.J.—some 50 miles away from their home in Allamuchy, N.J.
So when Parker saw Magloire-Wilson at the first collaborative meeting of the New Jersey Nursing Initiative last fall, she did a double-take.
“I thought to myself, ‘What a coincidence! That woman looks just like Maryann!’” Parker recalls. “I frantically searched through our directory and sure enough, there it was—Maryann Magloire-Wilson’s name.”
The two women—nurses, neighbors and friends—laughed when they realized they had one more thing in common: They are both RWJF New Jersey Nursing Scholars.
As such, they receive full tuition and fees to attend a graduate-level nursing education program, an annual stipend of $50,000, and a laptop computer. Magloire-Wilson is enrolled at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and Parker attends William Paterson University. The goal of the program is to build the supply of nurse educators in the state—a key way to ensure that New Jersey has an adequate, well-prepared nursing workforce in the future.
The two women also marveled at the fact that two people from a community of fewer than 4,000 residents were accepted by institutions participating in the Scholars program. “It truly is a wonder,” Magloire-Wilson says.
Their shared experience has given them one more thing to talk about when they bump into each other at neighborhood events or at the local school information night. “Having Tara to talk to has been an absolute blessing!” Magloire-Wilson says. “Who better would understand the demands of being a scholar, student, nurse, mother, and wife? It has been great to have a confidante that lives so close by!”

Did You Know…?

More than half of New Jersey nursing schools limit student capacity because of a lack of faculty lines and a lack of qualified faculty applicants.

Toward Creating a Business Alliance

Business leaders and health care experts gathered on December 8 to discuss the implications of health reform, resolving to create a Business Alliance that will develop collaborative solutions to the nursing shortage. The innovative Business Summit on Healthcare: A Framework for Reform was sponsored by the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Johnson & Johnson, the Horizon Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Jersey Nursing Initiative.
The Need for Reform
“Costs have more than doubled in the last decade for employers. Health care spending is growing and we cannot afford to keep spending this much per year,” warned Katie Strong Hays, executive director of congressional and public affairs for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Using Camden as a microcosm for the state, Jeffrey Brenner, M.D., department of family medicine at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, presented the findings of his detailed study on the costs and quality of local care. He found that a poorly managed health care system is costing New Jersey taxpayers millions of dollars annually, while providing less effective care to residents in need. “The bottom line is that businesses in New Jersey are paying a lot of money for poor quality care… Most of the fix to all of this is primary care and nursing,” said Brenner.
To better address the challenging heath care needs of his community, Brenner has created a pilot program that establishes neighborhood health exchanges that maximize physician and nurse effectiveness and reduce the need for costly emergency room visits. Through the Camden Coalition of Heath Care Providers, Brenner and his colleagues who are social workers, nurses, physicians, and hospital administrators are creating powerful solutions to the health care crisis that are inexpensive compared to hospitalization and emergency care and can be replicated elsewhere in the state.
Expert Panel Discussion
A number of speakers said that creating solutions to the looming nurse faculty shortage will be key to the success of health care reform. Susan Bakewell-Sachs, Ph.D., R.N., P.N.P.-B.C. dean of the School of Nursing, Health and Exercise Science at The College of New Jersey, Robert Wise, president of the Hunterdon Medical Center and Sonia Delgado, M.G.A, senior associate with the Princeton Public Affairs Group provided expert analysis of the current situation. Bakewell-Sachs warned attendees to expect “significant nurse retirements in the next five years.”
New Jersey should “consider creating a stimulus program for nursing” in the state, Wise said. He recommended that businesses view nursing as a “value and not a cost.” Wise encouraged greater nurse collaboration and said that solutions to the current crisis will be found locally. He urged participants to become involved in addressing issues related to the nurse faculty shortage and to pool local resources to best address the nursing crises in their communities.

Nation’s Top Experts Re-Envision Clinical Education

Leaders in innovation

Leaders in innovation, Yedidia, Weems, Teel, Murray, MacIntyre, and Joanne Fucello (L to R) exchange ideas during the Re-Envisioning Clinical Education conference.

Nearly 130 of the state’s leading nurse educators came together at The College of New Jersey on November 13 for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Jersey Nursing Initiative’s (NJNI’s) groundbreaking conference, “Re-Envisioning Clinical Education.”The day-long event brought together leaders in both clinical and classroom education for frank discussion on ways nurse faculty can focus on quality and safety, incorporate innovative teaching and learning methods, and promote greater collaboration between academia and practice in order to better prepare the next generation of New Jersey’s nurses.

We need to “encourage inquiry. Inquiry will drive practice,” said Gwen Sherwood, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., professor and associate dean for academic affairs at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Nursing. Sherwood encouraged participants to “begin to view the role of the nurse as the driver of quality” in health and health care and, as such, guide their curriculum and students toward quality and safety.

Cautioning against a “we have always done it that way” mentality, Teri A. Murray, Ph.D., R.N., dean of the Saint Louis University School of Nursing, said “it really is time in nursing education for us to give up our sacred cows… Our model of nursing education is born out of tradition; it has not been tested.”

Murray discussed the need to abandon the “mother duckling” model of clinical education where success or failure depends solely on the strengths of the individual clinical nurse faculty member working with a group of students. Instead, she offered examples of innovative academic-practice partnerships that strengthen the educational experience, including: Dedicated Education Units in hospitals devoted to collaborative teaching with schools, and clinical collaboratives that place students with preceptors in a single health care organization and foster relationships between the schools and clinical partners. These groundbreaking new methods are taking hold in schools and clinical settings across the country, she said.

Other presenters included Michael Yedidia, director of Evaluating Innovations in Nursing Education; LaNelle Weems, M.S.N., R.N., project director of the Mississippi Office of Nursing Workforce; Cynthia Teel, Ph.D., R.N., associate dean of graduate programs, University of Kansas School of Nursing; and Richard MacIntyre, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., professor at Samuel Merritt University School of Nursing.

Conference participants discussed innovative clinical education strategies currently being used in New Jersey, and provided suggestions for improving communication between academia and practice. Their recommendations included regional meetings between schools of nursing and clinical partner leadership; engaging staff nurses more in education and planning; and creating an online discussion board or forum to share ideas.