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  1. Roche, Joan P. MS, RN
  2. Lamoureux, Erin MS, RN
  3. Teehan, Timothy MS, RN


A school of nursing and a health system in Massachusetts developed a unique partnership to create a system to attract and retain new nurses in acute care. The structure of this partnership was designed to increase the faculty of the school of nursing and add to the educational expertise in the department of staff development in the health system's major acute care hospital. The process was developed using an empowerment model. The authors describe the structure, process, and outcomes of this partnership.


The current nursing shortage is multifactorial. On the supply side, it results from an aging nursing workforce, 1 decreased interest in a nursing career resulting from expanding opportunities for women, 2 and slow growth of minority nurses. 3 On the demand side, there is an unprecedented projected need for nurses with the anticipated increase in the patient population related to the aging of the baby-boomers. 4 This long-term shortage is quantitatively and qualitatively different from past nursing shortages, because it is not related to normal fluctuations of the supply and demand workforces but is driven by fundamental demographic changes.


Nursing leaders are challenged by this shortage to look for innovative approaches to develop a long-term increase in the nursing workforce. Although financial incentives are important, work environment and content have a stronger relationship with job satisfaction than economic or individual factors. 5 To attract and retain a continual supply of new nurses and keep experienced nurses, nursing leaders are striving to create dynamic, rewarding, and supportive work environments.