The Norwegian teaching nursing home (TNH) programme was launched in 1997 to address the continued challenges and threats to quality in long-term care. They included high turnover, inadequate recruitment of qualified staff, poor image and inadequate learning opportunities in long-term care for students, and lack of opportunities for knowledge and skill development for staff. Research into the particular challenges and needs in long-term care was very limited. The aim of the programmes was to establish partnerships between selected nursing homes, universities and university colleges. Together the institutions would address the challenges by developing quality development programmes, initiating research and improving teaching in collaboration. During the first project period (1997–2003), the TNHs proved to be efficient in launching quality-improvement programmes, improving teaching of students and staff and supporting relevant research. Following a formal evaluation, the programme was established on a permanent basis in 2004. Since then the programme has gone through a number of changes, including growing in numbers, being widened to include home care services, and changing focus from local developments to also being vehicles for national quality initiatives.