The Shortage of Educationally Prepared Nursing Faculty
The nation is in need of a sufficient Registered nurse supply. The adequacy of this supply is critical in providing quality health care. An integral role of Registered nurses (RNs) and Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) in primary care delivery helps to bring focus to the nation’s health care systems of patients’ and communities. The United States’ estimated shortage of nurses will grow to 260,000 by 2025, disturbing the nation’s health care delivery systems (American Nurses Association, 2011). The widespread of attention toward the growing need of nurses in the United States presents decreased awareness on the focus of nurse faculty shortages (National League of Nursing, 2010). Although active nursing numbers are growing, state, and national projections predict nursing shortages will increase as the population ages and requires more care, and practicing nurses, in large numbers, begin to retire. Without coordinated statewide actions addressing the growing problem of faculty shortages, United States citizens will continue to face severe nurse shortages (National League of Nursing, 2010). Nursing faculty is intertwined with the current national shortage of nurses (American Nurses Association, 2011). Issues and Influencing Factors Some of the main issues affecting nursing shortages are the worsening of shortages of faculty in academic environments, damaging nursing professions infrastructure in edcation. Ninety-four percent of academic health centers believe faculty shortages arrive in at least one medical school, and 69% agree that these faculty shortages are an issue for institutions abroad. The majority have identified nurse faculty shortages as the highest in demand followed by allied health, pharmacy, and medicine (National League of Nursing, 2010). The limitation of student capacities is growing across the country in relation to nurse faculty shortages. Influencing factors contributing to these shortages involve aging faculty, budget constraints, the workload of full-time nurse educators in non-administrative positions teaching in either pre-licensure RN or graduate-level RN programs, competing salaries among employers in medical facilities versus universities, and recruitment (American Nurses Association, 2011). Recruitment of qualified new faculty is limited of master’s and doctoral programs with a focus on nursing education like the underrepresentation of minority groups, inadequate faculty compensation, and workplace issues like employee workload, clinical scheduling, student attitudes, and abilities, and cultural issues (American Nurses Association, 2011). According to the American Nurses Association (2011), “United States nursing schools turned away 75,587 qualified applicants from baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs in 2011 from insufficient faculty numbers, clinical sites, classroom space, clinical preceptors, and budget constraints” (Scope of the Nursing Faculty shortage). One other contributing factor is salary differences. According the Maryland Statewide Commission on the Crisis in nursing (2005), “The average salary for a practicing nurse with an advanced degree is $80,000, but a nursing faculty member makes about $50,000. The starting salary for a full-time faculty member at a Maryland school of nursing is approximately equal to that of a new graduate from an associate-degree or baccalaureate nursing program beginning as a full-time staff nurse. Given the additional education, master’s degree in nursing at minimum, and the experience required for a faculty position, this disparity in salary seems inequitable” (p. 2). Shortage Challenges, Strategies, and Consequences A challenge to decrease the growing shortage of nurses is to enhance opportunities for nursing faculty in addition to faculty increases in a timely manner. Countering strategies toward nurse faculty...
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