Fewer nurse faculty available to teach new nurses, association report finds
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The vacancy rate for nurse faculty members at U.S. nursing schools has risen over last year. That has further limited the growth of schools of nursing and contributed to the current shortage of nurses, according to a new survey from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.
The nurse faculty vacancy rate in 2010 was 6.9%, up from 6.6% in 2009. Roughly 92% of those vacancies are for positions that have a requirement—or strong preference—for a doctoral degree in nursing or a related field. The statistics are based on data received from 556 schools of nursing across the U.S. that provide baccalaureate and graduate training programs.
The primary reasons for the faculty shortage include a lack of doctorally prepared faculty, and teaching salaries that can't compete with salaries for practicing nurses. The recent economic downturn has also reduced nursing school budgets and led to hiring freezes, which makes it difficult to correct the current shortage, according to the AACN report.