Nearly every state in the United States is facing a nursing shortage. It goes without saying that we need to graduate more nursing staff in order to ensure that our national nursing shortage does not get worse. The problem is that you may not be able to become a nurse even if you qualify and have the desire.
If you are considering going back to school for an advanced nursing degree, you probably know that there is also a critical shortage of nursing faculty as well. In 2015, we looked at the nursing faculty shortage and examined the causative agents, but is that critical faculty shortage still going to be an issue in 2018?
The answer is a resounding “Yes.” Multiple universities have stated that while nursing is growing at an average of 8 points higher than any other occupation, the growth has “unfortunately coincided with a shortage of nursing faculty who can provide academic instruction and practical training for those entering the field.”
According to AACN, nearly two-thirds of the universities who responded to them said they are still turning away qualified candidates. The National League of Nursing ( NLN) has recognized a nursing faculty shortage for more than 5 years.
Walden University recently wrote about the shortage and offered this “What we’re seeing is a graying in the population,” says Dr. Andrea Lindell, Vice Provost of the College of Health Sciences. “A lot of the nursing faculty nationwide is moving toward retirement, and the discipline is losing a lot of the wisdom, knowledge, and experience that’s made nursing what it is today. We’re looking to a new generation to step into those roles and continue to advance the profession of nursing.”
Most people are not aware that this critical nursing shortage is being contributed to by a critical faculty shortage but that is precisely the case.
Is there a cure?
The nursing faculty shortage has a few contributing factors, including an aging workforce, limited resources, too few traditional candidates and not enough new faculty entering the mixture.
Because there are multiple facets to the problem, there isn’t going to be just one answer to resolve it. Attracting more personnel and personnel who are part of a younger age group is just the beginning of finding a resolution, but one must be found.
It behooves every stakeholder –hospitals, universities—students—and others, to become involved in finding solutions to the nursing faculty shortage in order to preclude an even more critical nursing shortage.