With a growing population, there is an increasing need for nurse practitioners to improve access to health care. There is currently a shortage of nurse practitioner (NP) preceptors across Massachusetts, making clinical placements difficult and at times unachievable. The lack of NP preceptors has a direct impact on student outcomes, educational programs, and ultimately access to care. The authors explored lessons learned about the national scale of this problem and whether Massachusetts should entertain legislative initiatives similar to other states as a solution. Data were collected from the boards of nursing and the national and state chapters of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners regarding current and pending legislation. State and federal sources and the Massachusetts Association of Colleges of Nursing provided statistical and qualitative data on current and future needs for NP preceptors. States that have successfully passed legislation have awarded tax incentives to NP preceptors, although none of the existing regulations have assessed for their effectiveness in improving preceptor availability. Massachusetts may benefit from legislation to improve NP student access to preceptors; however, incentives related to geographical location may best serve both students and the greater population.
1College of Nursing and Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Boston, Massachusetts
Correspondence: Katherine Valorie Carelli, MSN, RN, University of Massachusetts, 100 William T. Morrissey Boulevard, Boston, MA 02125-3393. Tel: 508-887-3971; 508-482-0610; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Competing interests: The authors report no conflicts of interest.
Authors' contributions: K. V. Carelli obtained data from the boards of nursing and AANP State Chapters, created the figures in the manuscript, and wrote the first draft of the manuscript. She is the primary author and the contact author. P. N. Gatiba obtained data on current, pending, and inactive legislation. She edited the manuscript and is the second author. L. S. Thompson provided access to MACN and coordinated data collection with MACN and the lobbying firm Governmental Strategies, Inc. She performed the final edits on the manuscript and is the mentor author.
Received December 27, 2018
Received in revised form May 09, 2019
Accepted May 14, 2019