Academia...Oh No!: Reasons Registered Nurses Do Not Choose Academia

Tuesday, 8 July 2008: 8:30 AM
Wanda Lawrence, PhD, RN, MSN , The School of Health Sciences, Department of Nursing, Winston-Salem State University, Winston-Salem, NC

Learning Objective 1: Explore strategies that may entice registered nurses to teach in academia.

Learning Objective 2: Formulate a plan to implement at least two strategies in his/her state or region to entice Registered nurses to teach in academia.

A shortage of registered nurses has become a global issue for health care administrators and legislators, who are endeavoring to determine strategies to improve the nursing shortage. The National League for Nursing (NLN) indicates that nurse educators are the important factor needed to prepare enough registered nurses necessary to provide quality care to the American population. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) predict a need for one million more nurses by 2020 to meet the demands of the projected population (Habel, 2006). Consequently, the nursing profession must have an adequate number of nurse faculty to prepare the next generation of nurses.

Faculty shortages at nursing schools across the country are limiting student capacity at a time when the need for nurses continues to grow. According to AACN's report on (2003-2004) Enrollment and Graduations in Baccalaureate and Graduate Programs in Nursing, U.S. nursing schools turned away 15,944 qualified applicants to entry-level baccalaureate nursing programs due in part to insufficient number of faculty.

This presentation will describe research using a qualitative research design that investigated reasons registered nurses in one state who have the academic credentials to teach nursing decide not to. The study sought further to determine if the role and expectations of nurse faculty influence the nurses' decision. A purposeful sampling technique was used to choose 12 focus groups of registered nurses invited to participate using a systematic selection process. A content analysis approach was used for analyzing the data.

Results of this study identify changes that need to occur in order to entice registered nurses to teach in academia. Thus, this study has significance for leaders in higher education, nurse leaders and legislators. The presenter will discuss how recommendations if implemented can entice qualified nurses to teach in academia. Recommendations from this study can be implemented globally.