Nurse educator and nursing studenstDevelop and implement a comprehensive, long-term model for increasing the supply of nurse educators in Wisconsin with the goal of disseminating the model and resulting recommendations nationally. The model developed is based on the concept of fostering partnerships between nursing education programs and health care employers to recruit nurses to complete a master’s degree in nursing and work in dual roles as practitioners and nurse educators upon completion of their graduate degrees. This model provides a “win-win” solution to the shortage of nurses with advanced practice degrees in health care delivery settings as well as to the nurse educator shortage.


  1. Increase by 120 the number of masters prepared nurses in Wisconsin committed to serving as nurse educators, with at least 20 of these candidates being from underrepresented minority groups.
  2. Target nurses with associate and baccalaureate degrees to receive employer and community support to enroll in and complete UW master’s degree programs for preparation as nurse educators and recruit non-nurses who want to become nurse educators into UW direct-entry master’s program in nursing.
  3. Enhance current partnership among University of Wisconsin and Wisconsin Technical College nursing programs by improving pathways to master’s education for nurses with associate degrees.
  4. Implement and evaluate long-term partnerships among healthcare employers, nursing education programs, and local Workforce Development Boards to support nurse educator candidates throughout their master’s programs.
  5. Establish a system for stabilizing the Wisconsin nurse workforce through consistent collection and analysis of nursing workforce data.
  6. Disseminate information about the SWIFT initiative for consideration as a national model, including lessons learned and recommendations about statewide partnership development, resources required, and data needs.

History and Scope of SWIFT Nurse Educator Initiative

In 2001 Wisconsin health care employers and nursing and health care leaders began meeting to address the state’s nursing shortage. The Wisconsin Nursing Redesign Consortium (WNRC) was formed to develop the strategies to address the shortage. The limited number of nurse educators had been identified as one of the key causes of the nursing shortage, and the SWIFT proposal was identified as a strategy to address this need. Its fundamental structure is one of partnership among Wisconsin stakeholders which include healthcare employers, university and technical college nursing programs, and state and regional Departments of Workforce Development. WNRC has evolved into the Wisconsin Center for Nursing (WCN), incorporated in 2005. WCN has agreed to continue some of the essential strategic activities of the SWIFT implementation plan, including fostering additional partnerships among nursing education programs and health care employers and holding meetings among employers and educators regarding managing issues related to the nurses employed in dual roles.