Study finds decline in nursing faculty primary barrier to nursing program expansion

New York, NY (May 10, 2007) A report published in the May issue of the American Journal of Nursing (AJN), based on the first study to examine educational mobility among nurses, found that nurses in North Carolina are not pursuing advanced degrees in sufficient number to meet the demands for nurses in faculty and advanced practice roles. The sample was comparable in demographic characteristics to the national pool of registered nurses as measured in the last National Nurses Sample Survey.

"The nursing shortage will not be remedied without having sufficient nursing faculty in place for both the immediate and long-range future," said James William Bevill, Jr, an author of the study and associate director for workforce development at the North Carolina Center for Nursing, Raleigh, NC. "This study is the first to examine how nurses are using available educational pathways to acquire the degrees necessary for teaching. While the number of RNs has increased in the past decade, our findings suggest that the demand for nursing faculty is not being met and currently only a small number of nurses are going on to acquire a master of science or doctorate in nursing. Of those who do, only 11% choose to become educators."

The Study

A longitudinal analysis of data was gathered as part of North Carolina's licensing renewal process, studying the educational mobility of newly graduated RNs with a variety of entry degrees in North Carolina. The study followed one cohort of 3,384 new graduates who were licensed in 1984 (2,850 remained active in the study at the 10-year point and 2,418 remained active in the study at the 20-year point) and another cohort of 5,341 new graduates who were licensed in 1994 (4,211 remained active and in the study at 10 years). Demographic data for a third cohort of 5,400 new graduates, who were licensed in 2004, were included and considered along with data gathered by the National League for Nursing for nursing edu

Contact: Cindy Gessell
American Journal of Nursing

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