It is a widely acknowledged fact that the academic nursing workforce is aging and dwindling and in need of replenishment (Hall, 2009, Price, 2009). This concern has been the driving force behind a number of reviews and taskforces internationally, resulting in a number of reports and recommendations which seek to provide nationally coherent strategies related to nursing and academic nursing workforces (NNNET, 2006, UKDOH, 2006, Finch, 2007). Many of these strategies focus on encouraging nurses into research careers, largely because university and government priorities dictate this direction. It is our contention however, that an overemphasis on fitting nursing schools too slavishly into the ‘traditional’ forms and structures of academic research has proven, and will continue to prove, problematic for the replenishment of the nursing academic workforce, and for the quality of nursing programs and their graduates. More innovative and dynamic ways of thinking about the work that nursing schools do are needed if we wish to provide truly rewarding career pathways. This is not a problem at all unique to nursing, and has been the subject of debate in wider academic circles for some time.