The Impact of Burnout on Doctorate Nursing Faculty’s Intent to Leave Their Academic Position

Thursday, 27 July 2017: 3:50 PM

Elizabeth Florez, PhD1
Young-Me Lee, PhD, RN1
Nadia Spawn, MS, RN1
Jessica Bishop-Royse, PhD2
(1)School of Nursing, DePaul University, Chicago, IL, USA
(2)College of Liberal Arts, DePaul University, Chicago, IL, USA

Purpose: The demands placed on nursing educators puts them at high risk for burnout, leading to decreased job satisfaction and increased intent to leave their faculty positions. Despite the fact that nursing faculty are at great risk for job burnout; there are limited studies exploring the relationship between burnout and leaving their academic positions. The aim of this study is to address the national nursing faculty shortage by examining demographics, predictors including teaching preparation, and burnout to determine intent to leave nursing academia among PhD and DNP-prepared nursing faculty.

Methods: A descriptive survey research design was used to examine the relationships among the key study variables and identify the most significant factors related to faculty leaving. A national survey of doctorate faculty teaching in undergraduate and/or graduate nursing programs throughout the U.S. was administered via Qualtrics survey software. Logistical regression models were used to interpret data significance.

Results: A total of 146 nursing faculty responded to the online survey. 51.4% of the respondents (n=75) had a DNP degree and 48.6% (n=71) had a PhD degree. 61% of the respondents were over the age of 50 with the remaining 39% of the respondents between ages 20 and 49. PhD-prepared faculty reported higher emotional exhaustion compared to DNP-prepared faculty. Findings revealed that degree type (PhD versus DNP), age, and emotional exhaustion and depersonalization in burnout were significant predictors related to intent to leave nursing academia. Results indicated that younger faculty, PhD-prepared faculty, and higher reported levels of emotional exhaustion significantly determined intent to leave their positions. Depersonalization, conversely, was found to significantly decrease intent to leave.

Conclusion: The findings from this study found that PhD-prepared nursing faculty experienced more emotional exhaustion compared to the DNP-prepared faculty, a significant factor influencing decisions to leave nursing academia. To address the nursing faculty shortage issue, it is critical to create supportive and positive working environments to promote the well-being of both nursing faculty members and the institutions in which they work.