Academic journal article Nursing Education Perspectives

Nursing Faculty Characteristics and Perceptions Predicting Intent to Leave

Academic journal article Nursing Education Perspectives

Nursing Faculty Characteristics and Perceptions Predicting Intent to Leave

Article excerpt


Aim. This study identified characteristics and perceptions of nursing faculty that best predict their intentions to leave their faculty positions.

Background. The inadequate supply of nursing faculty is a situation that requires immediate intervention, yet evidence on factors associated with nurse faculty intent to leave their faculty positions is sparse.

Method. Survey data from 4,118 nurse faculty teaching in pre-licensure and graduate nursing education programs were analyzed. A conceptual model was designed to reflect six domains of factors contributing to the nurse faculty shortage and intent to leave.

Results, Two distinct multivariate models of characteristics and perceptions were determined to predict nursing faculty's intent to leave in the next year (n = 16) and next five years (n = 17).

Conclusion. To address predictors of nurse faculty intent to leave, data-driven strategy recommendations based on the six domains model of contributing factors are presented. These strategies represent a small but important step in the process of resolving the nurse faculty shortage.

Key Words. Nursing Faculty Intent to Leave--Nursing Faculty Shortage--Six Domains Model Nursing Faculty Retention


The United States continues to be challenged with an unprecedented shortage of nursing professionals. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Bureau of Health Professions projects a large increase in the number of nurses needed nationally, from 2 million full-time equivalents (FTEs) in 2000 to 2.8 million FTEs in 2020 (HRSA, 2002). The most significant barrier to expanding nursing education capacity and resolving the nursing professional shortage is the shortage of qualified nurse faculty (Joynt & Kimball, 2008).

Data indicating the prevalence and magnitude of faculty shortages in nursing education programs are sparse and come mostly from nursing association surveys (Buerhaus, Staigr, & Auerbach, 2009). The National League for Nursing (NLN) found the total number of budgeted, unfilled, full-time nurse faculty positions to be 1,390 in 2006, representing a 5.6 percent vacancy rate in associate degree (AD) programs and a 7.9 percent vacancy rate in baccalaureate (BSN) and higher degree programs (NLN, 2006). The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) estimated that, in 2008, there were 814 total nurse faculty position vacancies among 449 responding AACN-member schools, representing a vacancy rate of 7.6 percent (AACN, 2008).

Gauging the size and characteristics of the existing nurse faculty population in the midst of shortages has proven challenging, in part due to an increasing number of individuals who currently provide nursing education but lack formal faculty status. In addition, discrepancies in reporting total estimates occur due to the high number of part-time clinical faculty who may work only one or two days per week.

The National League for Nursing (NLN) estimated that, in 2006, there were 32,379 FTEs of employed nurse faculty nationwide, consisting of 22,951 full-time and 18,654 part-time faculty positions in the 1,559 nursing programs in the United States, excluding those in Puerto Rico and in the US territories. AD programs employed 15,738 FTEs, diploma programs employed 1,103 FTEs, and BSN and higher degree programs employed 16,430 FTEs (NLN, 2006).

Nurse faculty demographics were found to be similar to the registered nurse workforce in that the highest percentage were white non-Hispanic (90 percent). Seven percent were black/African American, 1.9 percent were Asian/Pacific Islander, and 1.5 percent were Hispanic. In addition, 48 percent of nurse faculty were 55 years of age and older. The latter finding is concerning in conjunction with the finding that one half of nurse faculty say they expect to retire within the next 10 years and 21 percent expect to retire within the next five years (Kaufman, 2007a). …

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