The Shortage of Educationally Prepared Nursing Faculty
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 education. 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 shortages need to gain a focus on various educational methods within institutions like retaining senior faculty, and recruitment of new faculty in a timely manner in collaboration with anticipated retirements. National prospects suggest the initiation of a new motivation tool that launches new educational and research training with focuses on doctoral studies early in nursing careers with added support (Hinshaw, 2001). The consequence of a non-functioning solution to the problem will continue to contribute to nursing shortages placing the health care arena in jeopardy of poor health care delivery.
The decrease of nurses has major consequences on preparing for emergencies, quality health care, the safety of patients’, access to health care services, and growth of the economy (The Center for Health and Health Care in Schools, 2006). More nurses will resume other avenues of employment, in addition to an increase of workload burnout. Recommendations Schools of Nursing, nursing school’s educational institutions, and nursing professions need to evaluate old strategies and develop new and creative solutions for decreasing the shortage of nursing faculty (Hinshaw, 2001). A strong recommendation is retaining productive senior faculty.
Academic administrators and faculty should evaluate new solutions for retaining senior faculty skills as they enter the retirement phase. Strategies suggested and developed should include methods based on the respect held for the expertise of senior faculty members on the needs of the nursing program as new junior faculty are recruited (Hinshaw, 2001). According to Hinshaw (2001), examples of recommendations include senior faculty to develop, and share new experiences, offer phased retirement plans, establish intellectual homes like Centers of Excellence based on research, and provide service components to retain senior faculty.
Timing for replacement of senior faculty incorporates a specific strategy of preplanning. A widely used strategy used is to negotiate a loan from nursing program parent institutions. The loans are paid back as senior faculty retires. The major benefit of this loan program is it permits for the recruitment of new faculty as the experienced senior faculty is in place, providing several years for mentoring relationships between the two groups.
Such a cadre of new and senior faculty can also build a strong climate for teaching mastery, research programs, and sponsorship into leadership positions in the profession because time is available for the new individuals to develop in a more comfortable, less stressed environment. At the same time, the expertise of the senior faculty is respected, and acknowledged. Another recommendation is to increase faculty salaries in comparison to clinical salaries. Currently there is more than a 20 thousand dollar difference between the two master’s of nursing professions, which also complicates recruitment of nursing faculty.
According to American Nurses Association (2011), “The average salary of a nurse practitioner, across settings and specialties, is $ $91,310. By contrast, in March 2011, master’s prepared faculty earned an annual average salary of $72,028” (Factors contributing to the Faculty Shortage). Because the United States is economically challenged, increased salaries for higher educated nursing professionals may steer him or her toward faculty employment. Last, a resolution to gaining more nurses to consider faculty positions is to introduce academics early in his or her nursing career. Incorporating teaching throughout Associate Degree programs nd higher will appeal a more viable career option toward academic nursing. Economic Investments The nursing shortage detrimentally has damaged the health care system. Studies have revealed that nursing shortages contribute to non-desirable patient outcomes, medication errors, and an increase in mortality rates. Inadequate staffing issues were linked to increased patient mortality (American Nurses Association, 2011). Researchers have identified that federal investments in nursing education is needed. Hospitals and other medication institutions need to support educating future nurses and increase nurse efficiency.
There is a need for innovative pathways in education toward bachelor and graduate studies in nursing in addition to incentives for recruitment of nursing faculty. Families and surrounding communities need to recognize the effects of nursing care has on the quality and safety of health care and be prepared to assist with funds to support the need for higher education. The public should become involved with an understanding that united is a stand, and divided the country shall fall in addition to taking a stand to demand better care of growing communities with longer lifeps.
Conclusion Shortages of nursing faculty, placements in clinical settings, and nursing program classrooms report each year in every state in the congressional district report denying qualified candidates to nursing schools (National League of Nursing, 2010). Rising factors affecting the nursing shortage is wages. Wages for nurses compared to past wages have grown dramatically but still lag behind other health care professionals with equal education. Although many strategies have been initiated, there is no one strategy, or solution to the ongoing issue of a need for roughly 800,000 nurses needed by 2020 (American Nurses Association, 2011).
Until communities, governments, hospitals, and other medical institutions, in addition to nursing programs take a united stand in promoting the future of quality health care, the United States will continue to experience a shortage in nursing. The key to producing qualified nurses is to employ more qualified faculty. A solution to this promotion should start within early nursing programs with teaching as a focus. This will help future nurses to admire the importance of helping patients in addition to helping new nurses grow in the nursing practice. References American Nurses Association. (2011). Nurse Faculty Shortages.
Retrieved October 07, 2012, from American Nurses Association: http://www. aacn. nche. edu/media-relations/fact-sheets/nursing-faculty-shortage Hinshaw, A. (2001, January 31). A Continuing Challenge: The Shortage of Educationally Prepared Nursing Faculty. Retrieved October 07, 2012, from The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing 6(1). Manuscript 3. Available: http://www. nursingworld. org/MainMenuCategories/ThePracticeofProfessionalNursing/workforce/NursingShortage/Resources/ShortageofEducationalFaculty. html Maryland Statewide Commission on the Crisis in Nursing. (2005, September 02). Nursing Faculty Shortage .
Retrieved October 07, 2012, from Maryland Board of Nursing: http://www. mbon. org/commission/nsg_faculty_shortage. pdf National League of Nursing. (2010, February). 2010 NLN Nurse Educator Shortage Fact Sheet. Retrieved October 07, 2012, from National League of Nursing: http://www. nln. org/governmentaffairs/pdf/nursefacultyshortage. pdf The Center for Health and Health Care in Schools. (2006, September). Thoughts on a Nursing Shortage. Retrieved October 08, 2012, from The Center for Health and Health Care in Schools: http://www. healthinschools. org/News-Room/EJournals/Volume-7/Number-9/Thoughts-on-a-Nursing-Shortage. aspx