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.