Insights Into The Nursing Faculty Shortage

Insights Into The Nursing Faculty Shortage



Insights into the Nursing Faculty Shortage
Registered nurses are trained to​ care for patients while also assessing medical conditions, and administering treatment and medications. They are employed in​ hospitals, physicians offices, long term care facilities and as​ home health aides. Nurses are becoming an increasingly important part of​ the healthcare system due to​ rising costs and growing demand. With the increasing need for nurses in​ the coming decades, it​ seems that the United States cannot produce enough nurses to​ fill the supply.
Healthcare careers are the fastest growing occupation in​ the country, and nursing tops the charts as​ the fastest growing occupation within the healthcare field. Why, then, are prospective nursing students being turned away from nursing schools? in​ the last year that statistics were available, it​ was estimated that nearly 16,000 students who were qualified to​ attend a​ nursing program were turned away. One reason for the shortage of​ registered nurses is​ the lack of​ faculty to​ instruct and train prospective nursing students. With a​ vacancy rate over 8 1/2% and rising, the faculty shortage limits the number of​ students who can become nurses.
Faculty shortages are not the only reason that prospective students are turned away from nursing schools. Budget constraints have limited schools abilities to​ update classrooms and lab equipment. There is​ a​ shortage of​ clinical opportunities for students in​ many areas. While the state and federal government have taken aggressive steps to​ recruit nurses in​ advance of​ the growing need, with tuition help and improvement of​ working conditions, their efforts are stymied by the inability of​ colleges to​ meet the demands of​ a​ growing healthcare crunch.
Lack of​ faculty is​ a​ main factor in​ nursing shortage
In what is​ probably the biggest determining factor in​ how many students are accepted by a​ school, there are simply not enough nurses teaching at​ the college level. While some nursing classes, such as​ core mathematics and chemistry classes do not require a​ nurse, others do. in​ fact, a​ certain percentage of​ the positions requiring a​ nurse require that the nurse have a​ doctorate degree. in​ contrast, the number of​ nurses who are seeking their doctorate degree is​ relatively small. it​ is​ estimated that many of​ the unfilled faculty positions are those that require doctoral education.
Why the shortage of​ nurses with doctorate degrees? While receiving your doctorate in​ any field is​ an accomplishment, it​ is​ a​ simple fact that a​ nurse can become a​ nurse anesthetist, a​ midwife, or​ a​ nurse practitioner and make a​ larger salary and be in​ heavy demand. Even nursing faculty positions that require only a​ masters program must compete with the lucrative positions available in​ the private sector. Nursing specialists are widely used in​ many communities to​ provide care for those without access to​ a​ physician. These nurses are RNs, with their bachelor and masters degree. as​ a​ certified nurse practitioner, the nurse has a​ great deal of​ autonomy in​ her practice and is​ well compensated.
Because of​ the specialized nature of​ the degree, nurses that wish to​ receive their doctorate must often leave the area where they are and move to​ a​ more urban area. at​ the completion of​ their training, they often do not return. Many of​ the nurses that complete a​ doctorate program, as​ many as​ onefourth, state at​ graduation that they have no plans to​ work in​ academics, and head straight to​ the clinical setting.
In the past, nursing instructors received a​ more competitive salary, but as​ the demand for nurses has increased in​ the private sector, their salaries have quickly outpaced the salaries of​ those in​ education. Now, as​ more nursing instructors reach retirement age, there is​ no one to​ fill their positions. Often nurses who have spent their entire careers in​ the educational setting enter the clinical setting to​ raise their income before retirement age.
What can be done?
The shortage of​ nursing faculty is​ a​ well documented and studied problem. With the demand for nurses increasing rapidly, it​ is​ important to​ find a​ way to​ increase the number of​ nurses who can be trained. Some plans are in​ place to​ help remedy the nursing shortage. Federal funds are being used for faculty development programs and to​ collect data on faculty vacancy rates.
Approaching retirement
With many nursing instructors reaching retirement age, the problem of​ nursing faculty shortages is​ not expected to​ go away. The problem creates a​ vicious cycle, with a​ growing demand for nurses in​ the clinical setting raising salaries and benefits. This draws even more nurses out of​ the academic setting. The shortage of​ faculty leads to​ a​ decrease in​ the number of​ students who are accepted into nursing programs. Again, this creates a​ greater shortage. it​ is​ estimated that the nursing shortage, in​ the clinical setting only, will grow by 6% a​ year. This shortage can be traced back to​ the shortage of​ nursing faculty members




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