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Nursing is a continuously evolving profession. However, like every other vocation, it has its issues. One of the major problems in nursing today is the shortage of nurses, especially nursing faculty. The shortage of nursing faculty directly affects the nursing shortage: educational programs are needed to produce more nurses, but lack of nursing faculty results in less students enrolling and graduating (Cowen & Moorehead, 2011). This global issue is serious and can impact healthcare for everyone since nurses make up a great volume of the healthcare workforce. Influencing Factors
Various factors contribute to the shortage of nursing faculty. Two of the most influential reasons why nurses are not pursuing a career as faculty are salary and cost of education. Salaries for nurse educators are not competitive as for clinicians. Also, the cost of graduate school can be overwhelming and it is often the case that employers do not offer enough tuition reimbursement (Gerolamo & Roemer, 2011). According to Nardi and Gyurko’s article “The Global Nursing faculty Shortage: Status and Solutions for Change” (2013), there has been an increase in global migration for nurse educators. In other words, nurses who are unhappy where they are working move to another country. An additional factor mentioned in this article is the reduction of full-time positions available for nurse faculty. The majority of nurse faculty positions tend to be part-time (Nardi & Gyurko, 2013). A final factor contributing to the nurse faculty shortage is role expectation. New faculty may take on more work than senior faculty because of the desire to obtain promotions or tenure. This can lead to work overload and high stress. The nurse educator role can often be vague, and nurse educators can be given more work than they should be responsible for (Cowen & Moorehead, 2011). Addressing the Issue
The nurse faculty shortage is significant and must be addressed in order to keep the science of nursing thriving. If there are less nursing faculty available, there will be fewer potential nurses to supply the field. This will worsen the already problematic nursing shortage. In the article “The Global Nursing faculty Shortage: Status and Solutions for Change” (Nardi & Gyurko, 2013), the authors suggest that more funding be dedicated to higher nursing education programs. Many nurses who want to continue their education are unable to because they simply cannot afford it. This can be achieved by pushing for more state and federal grants. This can also be achieved by employers allotting more funding into tuition reimbursement programs. Also suggested in the article is increasing faculty salaries. More money can be a great incentive for returning to school and becoming masters prepared. The lay public should be involved in funding efforts because the shortage of skilled nurses directly affects the quality of healthcare being delivered to the public. If medical facilities do not have enough nurses to care for patients, the quality of care will decline. Conclusion
In order for the nursing shortage issue to be alleviated, the nursing faculty shortage must first be addressed. The influencing factors of the faculty shortage must be examined, and solutions must be formed and achieved. This area of nursing must become more appealing as a career option and incentives must improve. It is for the benefit of the public that this nursing issue be resolved as soon as possible in order for them to be able to obtain quality, skilled nursing care when it is necessary.
Cowen, P., & Moorehead, S. (2011). Current Issues in Nursing (8th ed.). St. Louis: Mosby. Gerolamo, A., & Roemer, G. (2011). Workload and the nurse faculty shortage: Implications for policy and research. Nursing Outlook, 59(5), 259-265. doi:10.1016/j.outlook.2011.01.002 Nardi, D., & Gyurko, C. (2013). The global nursing faculty shortage; Status and solutions for change. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 45(3), 317-326. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.apollolibrary.com/docview/1437634051?accountid=458