Our Mission

We support 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. With its third cycle of funding, EIN will support projects that address aspects of teaching productivity and faculty preparation in nursing education for meeting the demands of a reformed health care and public health system. Learn More

About the Program

The United States faces an escalating shortage of nurses, driven in part by an aging population and a shortage of available spaces in schools of nursing across the nation. Widespread concern over the nurse faculty shortage is evident in the reports of prominent nursing organizations, as well as in the activities of numerous state workforce centers. As part of its commitment to address issues related to the nurse faculty shortage, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) supported the creation of Evaluating Innovations in Nursing Education (EIN) to fund evaluations of nursing educational interventions.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation established the National Program Office (NPO) to direct EIN in 2008. The NPO, which is located in the Center for State Health Policy at Rutgers University, in New Brunswick, New Jersey, provides overall research direction, management, technical assistance, and monitoring of the EIN grants. Dr. Michael Yedidia serves as director of the NPO and is assisted by Joanne Fuccello, Deputy Director. » Read More

Our Grantees

EIN is pleased to introduce its various cohorts of grantees, current and past. Twelve grants (of up to $300,000 each) have been awarded since 2009. EIN’s first grant cycle (2009-2011) funded four innovators in nursing education to support evaluations of different interventions, including Dedicated Education Units (DEUs); a technology-rich, accelerated BSN program relying on a mix of on-campus and offsite training, specially prepared clinical preceptors, and innovative course scheduling; and incorporation of a web-based virtual community into the curricula of several nursing programs across the country. For its second round of grants (2010-2012), EIN has funded evaluations of the implementation of a statewide education consortium curriculum; the substitution of clinical simulation for supervised hospital rotations; and an analysis of a myriad of state-based, support-for-service programs which offer funding support to nursing students who wish to become nurse faculty.

In mid July 2012, EIN’s third cycle of grantees began evaluation projects whose findings will directly inform strategies to prepare faculty to educate nurses for roles in the reformed health care system as envisioned in the IOM report on the future of nursing. These two-year projects (2012-2014) will focus on a range of issues, e.g., identifying barriers and opportunities for doctoral students regarding nurse faculty careers (American Association of Colleges of Nursing); assessing the various stages of career decision-making related to becoming a nurse faculty member (Indiana University); the hiring practices and intentions of directors of nursing programs related to DNP and PhD-prepared faculty (University of North Carolina Chapel Hill); the relationship between the demands of teaching doctoral students and research productivity among doctorally-prepared nurse faculty (Villanova University) and a case study to study and generate insights into the prospects for early-entry doctoral programs (admitting pre-baccalaureate students and recent graduates) to increase the number and productivity of future nurse faculty (University of Wisconsin-Madison). As with earlier funding cycles, EIN3 research projects are designed to generate findings to inform strategies for addressing the nurse faculty shortage, while expanding the nurse workforce and maintaining or improving student outcomes.

Grantee Spotlight

New York University

EIN awarded a two-year grant to researchers at New York University (NYU) and their evaluator team at National Development and Research Institutes (NDRI) to conduct a controlled evaluation of their undergraduate clinical teaching intervention – the Clinical Simulation/Clinical Experience (CSCE) Model—adopted to address the shortage of clinical faculty and sites. The purpose of this project was to document how the NYU simulation substitution model has an impact on faculty capacity for clinical supervision. » Read more

Grantee Research Findings

Click HERE to read selected findings from EIN grantees.

Grantee Publications

EIN Grantee at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, Publishes with Researchers in Partnering Hospitals in The Journal of Nursing Administration

EIN grantee Dr. Joanne Mulready-Shick (UMB) and partners from two Boston academic research centers -- Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) -- co-authored an article entitled, “Partnering and Leadership Core Requirements for Developing a Dedicated Education Unit." The article describes the creation of two Dedicated Education Units (DEU) implemented through the academic-service partnership between UMB’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences, MGH and BWH. The article outlines the factors critical for the success and sustainability of DEUs, focusing on skills required to negotiate complex collaborations and the leadership competencies demonstrated by nurses across three levels: 1) the dean and hospital chief nurse executives; 2) the academic nursing program and clinical directors, and 3) the hospital clinical instructors and university’s clinical faculty coordinators.

Read an abstract of the article HERE.

EIN Grantee JoAnn Mulready-Shick, EdD, RN, CNE presented at the Ohio League for Nursing’s Nursing Education Summit 2012 in Dublin Ohio (March 30, 2012).


EIN Grantee Project Team at New York University College of Nursing Publishes in Journal of Nursing Education

Dr. Hila Richardson and Dr. Mattia Gilmartin co-authored with Dr. Terry Fulmer an article entitled, “Shifting the Clinical Teaching Paradigm in Undergraduate Nursing Education to Address the Nursing Faculty Shortage.” The authors at NYU College of Nursing, supported by a two-year EIN grant, describe their new clinical teaching model that substitutes high-fidelity human patient simulation for up to half of the students’ clinical education experience. The article looks at the model’s effects on nurse faculty capacity.

Read an abstract of the article HERE as it appeared in the April issue of the Journal of Nursing Education.

National Survey of Nurse Faculty

How do nurse faculty members spend their time?  How do they assess key aspects of their work-life?

Click here to create customized findings from the 2011 national survey of full-time nurse faculty members by using NuFAQs, our Nurse Faculty Query web-based tool.

Choose from over 60 characteristics of workload and attitudes toward work-life and explore how they differ among faculty subgroups of interest to you.  Data were collected from a nationally representative sample of full-time faculty members teaching in nursing schools that offer at least one degree program that prepares graduates to sit for the licensure exam.  The study was conducted by staff at the EIN National Program Office and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

» view allWhat's New

RWJF Funds Planning Grant for Nursing Education Research Network

March 2015

Based on experience with Evaluating Innovations in Nursing Education (EIN), the Nursing Education Research Network (Network) aims to increase the volume and relevance of research in nursing education. Schools joining the Network will collect individual-level survey data from faculty and students annually on a core set of measures to generate a powerful longitudinal data base for research on issues critical to academic nursing. To realize the benefit, schools will be the owners and stewards of these data. Membership must be extensive enough to assure reasonable representation of various types and locales of schools, including community colleges and research intensive university programs. Data will be made available to schools for their own analyses, and Network staff will produce distributions, trends, and benchmarks for use of members as well. Network-sponsored workshops for faculty and graduate students will augment methodological expertise in making optimal use of these data. The 18-month planning grant will focus on developing a staffing plan and governance structure, gathering input from schools about compelling research questions and associated data, and building a technological infrastructure for the Network. For more information, contact Pamela Ironside, Ph.D. (Indiana University School of Nursing, pamirons@iu.edu), who is directing the planning effort.

Barriers and Facilitators to Full Adoption of Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program: Findings from a National Study on Progress in Transitioning to the Practice Doctorate

November 2014

The AACN Board of Directors commissioned the RAND Corporation to conduct a national survey of nursing schools with APRN programs to identify the barriers and facilitators to offering a post-baccalaureate DNP. The study authors found near “universal agreement” among nursing’s academic leaders regarding the value of DNP education in preparing nurses for advanced nursing practice. However, many schools transitioning to the BSN-DNP reported barriers such as a lack of faculty, costs and budgetary concerns, insufficient clinical sites, and resource challenges associated with overseeing DNP scholarly projects. “The RAND study showcases widespread support for the DNP while pointing the way toward future action,” said AACN President Eileen T. Breslin. Click HERE to read more.

New Issue of the Journal of Nursing Education Features Article Based on Findings from the National Survey of Nurse Faculty; Authors Examine Aspects of Faculty Work-Life and Impact on Intent to Leave Academic Nursing

October 2014

In “Association of Faculty Perceptions of Work–Life With Emotional Exhaustion and Intent to Leave Academic Nursing: Report on a National Survey of Nurse Faculty,” Dr. Michael Yedidia, Ms. Jolene Chou, Dr. Susan Brownlee, Dr. Linda Flynn, and Dr. Christine A. Tanner discuss findings from the National Survey of Nurse Faculty (supported by a grant from RWJF). The authors found that intent to leave faculty roles was explained by several factors, including modifiable aspects of work: dissatisfaction with workload, salary and availability of teaching support. Click HERE to read an abstract of the article.

RWJF Selected First Sixteen Scholars to Pursue PhD in Nursing through its Future of Nursing Scholars Program

September 2014

“The scholars who comprise our inaugural cohort are highly dedicated nurses who are excited about the opportunity to address important questions in health care, lead the transformation of our health care system, and help build a Culture of Health,” said Susan Hassmiller, PhD, RN, FAAN, co-director of the program and RWJF’s senior adviser for nursing. The selected PhD candidates will receive financial support, mentoring, and leadership development over the three years of the PhD program. The students were selected by schools of nursing that have received grants to provide those scholarships. Click HERE to read more about this funding announcement.

EIN Grantee Manuscripts featured in the current edition of Nursing Education Perspectives

September 2014

The current issue (Sept-Oct 2014) of the National League for Nursing’s (NLN) journal – Nursing Education Perspectives – features findings from five EIN-funded evaluation projects. The educational interventions that were the focus of the evaluations published in this issue include: innovations in clinical education; technology and instructional expertise (e.g., simulation); new curricula to facilitate academic progression for students and support efficient use of faculty resources; and, state-based policies and programs offering incentives for nurses to pursue careers as nurse faculty. Click HERE to read the current issue of the journal.

EIN Grantee Project Team at University of North Carolina Publishes in August 2014 Issue of Journal of Nursing Education

August 2014

In “Hiring and Incorporating Doctor of Nursing Practice–Prepared Nurse Faculty Into Academic Nursing Programs,” Dr. Marilynn Oermann, Dr. Mary Lynn and Dr. Charlotte Agger (supported by a grant from EIN and RWJF) discuss hiring practices and intentions of deans and directors of nursing programs across the United States for Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)–prepared nurses seeking academic positions. Click HERE to read an abstract of the article.

RWJF Awarded Academic Progression in Nursing Program (APIN) Phase II Grant of $300,000 to 9 States for Advancing Strategies Aimed at Creating More Highly Educated Workforce

August 2014

Sharing Nursing’s Knowledge August 2014 issue features this funding announcement from the RWJF to the Action Coalitions in nine states including California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Montana, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Texas, and Washington to expand their work and (a) develop a sustainability plan to ensure that the academic progression will continue beyond the grant period; (b) develop a robust diversity plan; and (c) focus on academic-practice partnerships to expand and support the work. Click HERE to read more about this funding announcement.

July 2014 issue of Nursing Outlook includes two articles written by researchers focused on nurse faculty issues

July 2014

Nursing Outlook’s July 2014 issue features two articles of interest related to nurse faculty. In “Challenges to research productivity of doctoral program nursing faculty,” Dr. Suzanne Smeltzer and her research team at Villanova (supported by a grant from EIN and RWJF) discuss their exploration of the issue of scholarly productivity among doctoral nursing faculty. Click here to read an abstract of the article. A second article turns to a discussion of the nurse faculty shortage and strategies to address it in the state of New Jersey. Its focus includes the successes and challenges related to the implementation of the New Jersey Nursing Initiative’s Faculty Preparation Program (FPP). Click here to read an abstract of this article.

The Dedicated Education Unit (DEU) Model in the News

June 2014

A profile of the Dedicated Education Unit (DEU) model, which is an academic-service partnership between a school of nursing and its clinical nursing unit site, is featured in the RWJF Human Capital blog. The DEU concept originated at Flinders University in Australia, and the University of Portland School of Nursing was the first to implement the model (10 years ago) in the U.S. Now in operation in over 20 states, the Portland model has either been directly replicated or adapted by participating schools to meet the various needs of their partnerships. In all cases, the model utilizes staff nurses as clinical instructors, and changes the clinical teaching role for academic nurse faculty. The evidence about the DEU model suggests that it is adaptable to the unique qualities of academic and service partners, while remaining true to the essential values of the DEU. Data from all these sites revealed an overwhelmingly positive learning atmosphere created by DEUs. The author notes that: “Overall, the DEU requires fewer faculty members to supervise students, and more students can be placed in fewer clinical spots, freeing up precious clinical placements for other schools of nursing.” Read the blog post –”The DEU as a Response to the Nurse Faculty Shortage” here.

A recent study published in Nursing Economic$ reported on the financial impact related to developing a DEU between partnering academic and clinical sites. The results of a cost-benefit analysis found a net financial benefit of more than $46,000 in 2011 for all participants when a DEU model was implemented by the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and four service partners. The research team developed a tool to capture and assess costs and associated benefits of the partnership, which is discussed in the article.

The State of Washington Unveils the Associate in Nursing Direct Transfer Agreement, a New Collaborative Plan Among the State’s Community and Technical Colleges and Universities

April 2014

Washington has joined other states in a move to make it easier for nursing students to earn their bachelor’s degrees in nursing via a new plan with the state’s community and technical colleges and four-year universities. In a commitment to facilitate academic progression in nursing, the “Associate in Nursing Direct Transfer Agreement” will standardize the way academic institutions award and accept credits for classes students have already taken, assure consistent transfer of credits toward the BSN degree across the state, increase transparency and reduce the potential for redundancy and delay. State nursing leadership reported that in 2008, an estimated 53 percent of the state’s nurses had BSN’s, a number well below that of the IOM’s recommendation of an 80 percent threshold. The state also has had to address the issue of rural areas of the state – where access to four-year universities is limited; these areas reported lower than 30 percent BSN-prepared nurses.

Under the new agreement, students will take at least three years of academic coursework at a participating community or technical college and, after passing a pre-licensure exam, will be eligible to finish the BSN in a fourth year thus reducing up to one year of the time it currently takes to earn the degree. The Washington Nursing Action Coalition expedited the agreement with the support they received from the RWJF’s Academic Progression in Nursing program (APIN) grant.

“This agreement will improve the efficiency and transparency of the pathway to the BSN and allow students to be able to get credit for work that’s been done,” stated Dr. Mary Baroni, a professor at the University of Washington at Bothell. “That has been difficult in the past because of different transfer policies at different academic institutions.”

Click HERE to read more.

Findings From an Evaluation of the Oregon Consortium for Nursing Education (OCNE) Model and Its Impact on First-Year Nursing Students During the Educational Redesign

April 2014

Researchers published a new study in the March/April issue of Nursing Education Perspectives, which explored first-year nursing students’ experiences during their initial years of transition to being educated under the OCNE model. In their analysis of OCNE End-of-First-Year Student Survey data from 2007-2010, the researchers identified three areas of satisfaction (fellow students; course lectures & interactions; and faculty and courses) and four areas needing improvement (advising & facilities; administration; quality of instruction & curriculum; and overall program effectiveness) for this model. The OCNE leadership has used these findings to redesign components of the model to better serve students’ needs. Click to view an abstract of the article here.

EIN Grantee Project Team at University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Nursing publishes in Journal of Nursing Education

April 2014

Dr. Nadine Nehls and Dr. Elizabeth Rice co-authored an article entitled, “Early Entry to a Doctoral Degree in Nursing Program: Analysis of Student Experiences.” The authors, supported by an EIN grant, describe the impact of an early-entry doctoral (PhD) program on younger students and their decisions to pursue doctoral degree in nursing. The article looks at decision making about becoming a nurse and a PhD student, facilitators of admission to and progression in an early-entry PhD program and the challenges of being an early-entry PhD student.

Read an abstract of the article HERE as it appeared in the April issue of the Journal of Nursing Education.