Andrea Bresnahan, DNP, named executive director of Massachusetts Nursing Council on Workforce Sustainability

February 01, 2022

Commonwealth Medicine at UMass Chan Medical School is pleased to welcome Andrea Bresnahan, DNP, as the executive director of the Nursing Council on Workforce Sustainability (NCWS), part of a statewide effort to tackle the nursing shortages in Massachusetts.

Bresnahan, a registered nurse with a doctorate in advanced nursing practice focused on health care administration and policy, has devoted her career to developing and ensuring a qualified, engaged, and resilient nursing workforce. Most recently, she served as the director of nursing at Mass Bay Community College, where she led the rebuilding of the school's nursing program during the pandemic by establishing community partnerships and creating new clinical placements and training opportunities. Before coming to Mass Bay, Bresnahan served as the associate director of programs and grants at the State of Florida's Center for Nursing, at the University of Central Florida. There she established, maintained, and evaluated programs with state agencies, private foundations, and the Action Coalition. Bresnahan earned her doctorate in advanced nursing practice at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, a master's degree in education at Thomas University in Thomasville, Georgia, and a bachelor's degree in anthropology at Georgia State University.

"Andrea is uniquely qualified to lead NCWS in convening a wide range of stakeholders as the council identifies and develops comprehensive solutions to address long-standing nursing pipeline and workforce challenges," said Commonwealth Medicine's Executive Vice Chancellor Lisa M. Colombo, DNP, MHA, RN. "Her experience in bringing together partners such as schools, workforce development programs, and regulatory agencies will enable NCWS to make a significant contribution to improving the nursing workforce in Massachusetts."

The NCWS at Commonwealth Medicine was created by the Massachusetts Healthcare Collaborative Nursing Task Force with the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) and the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD). The first order of work will include developing a three-year strategic plan and the engagement of potential partners. The NCWS is prepared to focus on the amplified effects of the pandemic on the health care workforce and develop a diverse, collaborative, statewide nursing workforce that reflects the changing health care environment.

“Now more than ever, it is imperative to focus on building a sustainable nursing workforce,” said Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders. “We must create opportunities to build up, sustain and support our nursing workforce. Commonwealth Medicine has played an important role in the development of the Nursing Council on Workforce Sustainability to ensure our workforce has the necessary supports to meet their needs. We look forward to working with Executive Director Bresnahan to advance this critical work.”

“As we continue to collaborate on solutions concerning healthcare labor gaps and upskilling the unemployed and underemployed for meaningful work, the Nursing Council on Workforce Sustainability is critical in our efforts,” said Rosalin Acosta, Secretary of Labor & Workforce Development and Massachusetts Healthcare Collaborative Co-Chair. “We look forward to working with Andrea in her new role as executive director.”

About Commonwealth Medicine

Commonwealth Medicine is the consulting and operations division of UMass Chan Medical School. It draws on the academic knowledge and public health service expertise of Massachusetts' only public medical school to provide comprehensive, innovative health care, and policy solutions. Commonwealth Medicine is guided by a mission to empower its partners – in-state and out-of-state agencies and health care organizations – to transform lives by optimizing the effectiveness of health care initiatives that assist the underserved in their communities.

About the Nursing Council on Workforce Sustainability

The Nursing Council on Workforce Sustainability (NCWS) is a critical part of a statewide effort to tackle the growing nursing shortage in Massachusetts. The council was created by the Massachusetts Healthcare Collaborative Nursing Task Force with Commonwealth Medicine/UMass Chan Medical School, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services, and the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development. Commonwealth Medicine will be leading NCWS, bringing together key stakeholders from across Massachusetts who are focused on creating a diverse, collaborative, and robust statewide nursing workforce.

About the Massachusetts Healthcare Collaborative

The Massachusetts Healthcare Collaborative was convened by Governor Baker in 2019 to address critical shortages in the healthcare workforce, namely in direct care, behavioral health, and nursing occupations. The Collaborative aims to close health care workforce shortages in Massachusetts, improve patient quality of care, provide new opportunities for a diverse workforce, retain pre-eminence in the industry, and fuel continued growth.