$20 Million Commitment Will Strengthen Diversity in Nursing Program and Add Behavioral Health Equity Certificate
BOSTON — Mass General Brigham and UMass Boston’s Manning College of Nursing and Health Sciences today announced an expanded collaboration to enhance the college’s Clinical Leadership Collaborative for Diversity in Nursing program.
With a $20 million investment — $10 million from Mass General Brigham and $10 million from UMass Boston — the goal is to recruit and retain nursing students from underrepresented communities as they start their clinical rotations.
“Nurses are fundamental to the delivery of high-quality, compassionate healthcare to our patients,” said Dr. Anne Klibanski, president and CEO of Mass General Brigham. “There is an immense need to increase the pipeline of trained nurses, with a concerted focus on increasing diversity among our trainees. This initiative is a powerful example of how collaboration can drive change to overcome monumental challenges in a meaningful way.”
“I commend Mass General Brigham for collaborating with the UMass Boston leadership to confront one of the most challenging workforce and health care challenges of our time,” said UMass President Marty Meehan. “Building on the inspiring generosity of Rob and Donna Manning, the federal investment supported by Congressman Steve Lynch, and the work of the UMass Foundation team, this initiative will result in a stronger, more diverse nursing corps and a healthier community.”
“As the only public research university in Greater Boston, one with nationally recognized nursing programs, we have a responsibility to educate future health care providers in a way that serves our increasingly diverse and aging population,” said Chancellor Marcelo Suárez-Orozco. “We are grateful to Mass General Brigham for this renewed commitment, which builds on our long-term partnership to diversify the career pipeline for nurses and opens opportunities for many more students.”
UMass Boston will provide financial support for the students recruited from the traditional and accelerated nursing programs to participate in the Clinical Leadership Collaborative for Diversity in Nursing program. These students will then be eligible for employment by the Mass General Brigham system hospitals, creating a workforce development pipeline from classroom to career. The additional funding will also support the creation of a behavioral health equity certificate for program participants. Over five years, 400 students will be recruited to complete the program.
“At a time when nurse shortage trends continue to climb, training the next generation of nursing students is critical for maintaining quality patient care in the Commonwealth,” said Rose Sheehan, chief human resources officer at Mass General Brigham. “This expanded nursing education program underscores our commitment to supporting the healthcare workforce needs of the state.”
The Clinical Leadership Collaborative for Diversity in Nursing is a health equity partnership founded by UMass Boston and Mass General Brigham in 2008 to support diversity, practice preparedness, and behavioral health competency. It has provided hands-on hospital experience and career opportunities to 135 graduate and undergraduate nursing students. Participating students achieved a 100 percent certification rate and a 92 percent placement rate at Mass General Brigham hospitals.
“As the daughter and granddaughter of nurses, I am thrilled to see UMass Boston and Mass General Brigham expand their efforts to recruit and retain nursing students from diverse backgrounds,” said Governor Maura Healey. “At a time when we are facing a shortage of nurses and a mental health crisis, this is an important step that our schools, workforce, and health care system all will benefit from.”
“This latest collaboration between UMass Boston and Mass General Brigham accelerates the momentum of the nursing program at a critical moment,” said Donna Manning. “Our top priority is to keep our students on track to graduate and excited about the career opportunities that await them across our communities.”
In 2021, Robert J. and Donna Manning donated $50 million to increase access and opportunity across the five-campus university system. The gift — $15 million of which was directed to the UMass Boston School of Nursing — is the largest of any kind in the university’s history.
“We are grateful to Scott Sperling, chair of the Mass General Brigham Board and the MGB leadership team for their partnership,” said Robert J. Manning. “By strengthening this program, they are investing in the top talent of tomorrow and ensuring a stronger future for the entire health care ecosystem in our state, region, and beyond.”
“UMass Boston’s nursing programs are vital to educating and training the next generation of health care workers in Boston and across the nation,” said U.S. Representative Stephen Lynch (MA-08). “Our nurses are the backbone of our health care system, and this collaboration between UMass Boston and Mass General Brigham offers an amazing opportunity for growing a diverse and professional nursing workforce. I am grateful to UMass Boston Chancellor Marcelo Suárez-Orozco and Mass General Brigham President and CEO Dr. Anne Klibanski for their visionary leadership, and I look forward to witnessing the transformative impact this collaboration will have on our nurses of the future.”
This significant expansion of the Clinical Leadership Collaborative for Diversity in Nursing program was inspired by the Mannings’ gift. The Manning College of Nursing and Health Sciences is the fastest-growing college at UMass Boston and offers the only four-year public programs in nursing and exercise and health sciences in the Greater Boston area.
“I applaud UMass Boston and Mass General Brigham for expanding this pivotal health care career pathway program with such a significant investment,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “For Boston to remain the health care capital of the world, we need to ensure a pipeline of talented and diverse nurses that reflects our city, and UMass Boston and Mass General Brigham are leading the way.”
"As a proud graduate of a Massachusetts public university, I have a deep appreciation for the role that they play in preparing students for a successful future and helping to meet our workforce needs,” said Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll. “UMass Boston is the only public research university in Greater Boston and is therefore uniquely positioned to execute a program such as this one."
UMass Boston is the most diverse university in New England, which is reflected in the makeup of the Manning College of Nursing and Health Science. The undergraduate and graduate population of approximately 1,800 students in the college is 20 percent Black, 14 percent Latinx, and 13 percent Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI). Part of Mass General Brigham’s United Against Racism initiative is focused on developing a more inclusive culture. This includes fostering a more diverse workforce and supporting diverse candidates through workforce development.
“If you or a loved one has ever spent time in a hospital, you know a caring, competent nurse is an invaluable part of the care team. Health care can’t happen without nurses,” said Gaurdia Banister, executive director of the Institute for Patient Care at Mass General Hospital, a founding member of Mass General Brigham. “We hope that this relationship not only offers students valuable, on-site clinical learning opportunities but also leads to a sustainable pipeline of qualified, diverse candidates.”
“I am deeply appreciative to have partners in Massachusetts like UMass Boston and Mass General Brigham working with us to address the nationwide health care workforce shortage,” said Secretary of Health and Human Services Kate Walsh. “Having a diverse health care workforce that truly represents the population they serve leads to better understanding, better decision making, and better health outcomes for patients.”
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