I began my journey to become a nurse in 2006 when I graduated high school and entered a nursing school in Akron, Ohio. Thankfully, upon graduation in 2010 from Robert Morris University I was able to quickly find a job that would lead me to wanting to advance my career further and get my masters degree in nursing. Without the many programs made available because of willing nurses to become educators, a lot of us would not be where we are today, myself included.
Many people think about the nursing shortage when it comes to bedside nursing and nurses in hospitals. Few rarely think that in order for ...view middle of the document...
“U.S. nursing schools turned away 75,587 qualified applicants from baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs in 2011 due to an insufficient number of faculty, clinical sites, classroom space, clinical preceptors, and budget constraints” (AACN). While the American Association of Colleges of Nursing is leveraging its resources to address this issue through focused media attention, data collection and the procurement of federal funding for faculty training programs, we must all focus attention on this crisis by making sure our nurse faculties have the appropriate support and resources they need to not only prevent job burnout, but to encourage potential retirees to stay on the job longer.
According to another survey released by AACN in October 2012, a total of 1,181 faculty vacancies were identified in a survey of 662 nursing schools with baccalaureate and/or graduate programs across the country. Besides these already existing vacancies, the schools also mentioned that there is a need to create an additional 103 faculty positions to keep up with student demand. It was also found that the majority of the vacancies in these schools were faculty positions that required or preferred a doctoral degree.
Interestingly only 1% of nurses in the United States have a doctorate degree. Unfortunately, I was unable to find statistics on how many baccalaureate prepared nurses there are in the workforce today. The literature did mention that in 2008 about 50% of nurses held a baccalaureate or graduate degree. The Institute of Medicine along with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is working towards increasing the number of baccalaureate prepared nurses in the workforce by 80% and doubling the amount of doctorate prepared nurses by the year 2020.
So, why is there such a problem in getting and retaining nurse faculty for those who have the desire and are motivated to enter the nursing profession? First, there are problems actually getting nurses to want to be educators. Among PhD prepared nurses only about 37% of those actually pursue careers in nursing education and only 33% of DNP prepared nurses choose academia as their focus.
. A challenge in keeping a nurse educator involves dissatisfaction with the teaching role in general, such as increasing teaching workloads, increase demand for scholarship and service, and long hours. In addition, non-competitive compensation for nursing faculty is a factor.
Another challenge is related to the awareness of the general public and among nurses that the faculty role is actually a viable career choice. Most nurses do not know about the many different career paths that can be taken in nursing education. Most nurses enter the profession with the mindset that they are going to be practicing nurses and we often forget about the people that have to educate these nurses. Typically, one does not decide to become a nurse educator until after several years of practice.
Even if a nurse wants to become an...