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Research Studies

Retirements and Succession of Nursing Faculty in 2016-2025

Di Fang, PhD, and Karen Kesten, DNP, APRN, CCNS, CNE, CCRN-K

Nursing Outlook (2017), 65(5), 633-642
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.outlook.2017.03.003

Faculty retirement has been a growing concern for the nursing education community given the impact it may have on preparing the future nursing workforce. The purpose of this study is to estimate faculty retirements in 2016-2015 and to assess the impact of retirements on the faculty workforce. The Least-Squares Regression and the Cohort Component Methods were used to project retirements. The findings suggest a sense of urgency for the nursing education community to address the impending exodus of senior faculty and to develop younger faculty for their successful succession.

Highlights

The percentage of full-time nursing faculty aged 60 and older increased from 17.9% in 2006 to 30.7% in 2015.

The mean age at retirement increased from 62.2 to 65.1 years.

The projected faculty retirements for the next 10 years equal roughly one-third of total faculty in 2015.

The retiring faculty are likely to come from faculty aged 60 or older in 2015, and faculty aged 50–59 in the same year are likely to be the replacements for the retiring faculty.

The impact of the retiring faculty on the faculty workforce will be huge given their overrepresentation in doctoral attainment, senior rank, and ability for graduate-level teaching.

Younger faculty who are likely to replace the retiring faculty possess fewer doctoral degrees, lower senior faculty ranks, and more limited in ability for graduate-level teaching.

Identifying Barriers and Facilitators to Future Nurse Faculty Careers for DNP Students

Di Fang, PhD and Geraldine D. Bednash, PhD, RN, FAAN

Journal of Professional Nursing (2017), 33(1), 56-67
http://www.professionalnursing.org/article/S8755-7223(16)30027-8/pdf

Increasing the pool of doctorally educated nurses pursuing faculty careers is imperative in the development of the nurse faculty workforce. This cross-sectional study aims to identify barriers and facilitators to academic careers for doctor of nursing practice (DNP) students. One thousand five hundred DNP students were randomly selected from nursing schools across the country to participate in our survey, and a 56.9% response rate was achieved.

Highlights

Slightly more than 32% of DNP students have postgraduation plans for academic careers, indicating that DNP graduates are an important component of nurse faculty candidate pool.

Compared with students who planned to pursue nonacademic careers, DNP students who planned to have academic careers were more likely to have full-time and part-time faculty status. However, they did not show significant differences in other demographic and academic characteristics.

Most students who planned to seek academic careers felt confident in carrying out many academic tasks, except for teaching informatics/technology courses.

Students who planned to seek academic careers were more likely than students in the nonacademic group to be influenced by facilitators to faculty careers. On the other hand, they were less likely to be dissuaded by barriers to academic careers. These findings are also consistent for DNP students who were not a faculty member.

DNP education has a positive, although small, impact on students' plans to pursue academic nursing careers.

Identifying Barriers and Facilitators to Nurse Faculty Careers for PhD Nursing Students

Di Fang, PhD, Geraldine Bednash, PhD, RN, FAAN, and Rachael Arietti, MS

Journal of Professional Nursing (2016), 32(3), 193-201

http://www.professionalnursing.org/article/S8755-7223(15)00120-9/pdf

The shortage of doctorally educated nurses pursuing faculty careers is a major concern regarding the development of the nurse faculty workforce. This cross-sectional study aims to identify barriers and facilitators to academic careers for doctoral (PhD) nursing students. A total of 1,500 PhD students were randomly selected from nursing schools across the country to participate in our survey, and a 62.8% response rate was achieved.

Highlights

PhD education has a positive impact on students’ plans to pursue academic nursing careers.

Slightly more than 72% of PhD students have post-graduation plans for academic careers. Compared with students who planned to pursue non-academic careers (11%) and students who had not decided on their career directions (17%), they were more likely to be full-time students, to be minorities, to have faculty status, and to receive financial support to cover most of their doctoral education expenses. During their doctoral education, they were more likely to work primarily in teaching or research, to participate in teaching development activities, and to have a faculty member as a mentor.

Most students who planned to seek academic careers felt confident in carrying out most academic tasks, except for reviewing and writing grant proposals.

Students who planned to seek academic careers were more likely than students in the nonacademic group to be influenced by facilitators to faculty careers. On the other hand, they were less likely to be dissuaded by barriers to academic careers.
Post-mater’s students entered their doctoral programs would graduate at the age of 48.5 on average. At the time of survey, 21% of them had stayed in their doctoral programs for 5 years or longer.

Attrition of Full-time Faculty from Schools of Nursing with Baccalaureate and Graduate Programs, 2010 to 2011

Di Fang, PhD, Geraldine D. Bednash, PhD, RN, FAAN

Nursing Outlook (2014), 62(3), 164-173
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.outlook.2013.12.002

The shortage of qualified faculty has been consistently reported as a major barrier impeding acceptance of all qualified applicants into nursing programs. In addition to faculty recruitment, the attrition of faculty is also a concern for schools of nursing. This study aims to analyze attrition of full-time faculty from nursing schools offering baccalaureate and/or graduate programs at the national level. Faculty data from 665 schools responding to the 2010 and 2011AACN’s Annual Survey were obtained. The 665 schools represent 83% of the total 801 schools offering baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs in 2010.

Highlights

Nationally 11.8% of full-time faculty who worked in 2010 left their full-time jobs by 2011.

Nearly half of total attrition, or 5.7% of full-time faculty members, were related to leaving for nonacademic nursing positions, whereas another 20% of attrition, or 2.4% of full-time faculty, resulted from retirement. Nearly 20% of faculty egressions, or 2.2% of full-time faculty, was due to leaving for nursing administrative positions or full-time faculty positions in an academic setting. Leaving for part-time faculty positions made up slightly more than 10% of faculty attrition or 1.3% of fulltime faculty.

Bivariate analysis identifies distinctive academic and demographic profiles of faculty who left full-time positions for different reasons.

Multivariate analysis further shows that different individual and institutional attributes are significantly associated with different types of attrition.