Case Studies

PA Nursing Education System Capacity


Client

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

The Hill Group's Role

  • Strategy Formula
  • Policy Analysis
  • Market Research
  • Project Management
  • Focus Group Facilitation
  • Change Management

Results

  • Impetus for a $2 million investment by Pennsylvania in nurse training
  • Established a commitment from the Pennsylvania Higher Educational Assistance Agency (PHEAA) of $40 million over four years to address industry needs
  • Identified priority strategies to address skill shortages and employee retention
  • Launched statewide employer- led Leadership Council to carry out attrition, development and retention strategies
  • Created an action plan to address the needs of workers and employers
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In response to critical labor shortages across many important healthcare occupations, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania partnered with The Hill Group, Inc. to beer understand the dynamics behind these troubling healthcare workforce trends, most notably an existing nursing shortage and a nursing workforce that was aging at a rate twice the national average. The Hill Group was engaged by the Pennsylvania Workforce Investment Board (WIB) and the Pennsylvania Center for Health Careers, a program of the Pennsylvania WIB, to assess Pennsylvania’s ability to educate enough new nurses to meet the state’s growing healthcare needs and to create a set of recommendations to address the statewide nursing capacity issue.

The Hill Group collected and analyzed primary and secondary data to estimate labor supply and demand and conducted statewide stakeholder participation processes including roundtables, surveys, and focus groups with industry and education leaders to assess critical issues and possible recommendations regarding nurse educator capacity. The results of The Hill Group innovative study were compiled in the report, “Addressing Pennsylvania’s Nursing Education System Capacity: Recommendation Report of the Pennsylvania Center for Health Careers.”

Major recommendations of the report include:

1. Expansion of the supply of qualified nurse educators as quickly as possible for both RN and LPN programs through institutional incentives, flexible financial assistance, and career pathways for MSN educators
2. Enhancement of clinical education access and experience for students by maximizing the use and availability of clinical sites and investment in the integration and shared use of educational technology
3. Highest variable spend assistance to community college nursing programs and identification of specific means for the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education to address critical regional needs for RNs
4. Creation of a dedicated capital funding source for technology and infrastructure improvement by nursing education institutions
5. Greater financial assistance and resources for RN and LPN students and development of an articulated career pathway for nursing students from LPN to MSN