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Rounds with Leadership

Welcome to Rounds with Leadership, a forum for AACN’s Board Chair and President/CEO to offer commentary on issues and trends impacting academic nursing.

April 28, 2021 - Sustaining the Nurse Faculty Population

As part of our work to survey the landscape of member school needs, one concern persists as a top priority: Sustaining a robust supply of nurse faculty to prepare entry- and advanced-level nurses. Finding faculty with the right mix of education, experience, and expertise continues to be a challenge for nursing schools nationwide. In fact, we know from data collected through AACN’s annual surveys that roughly one-third of the total faculty population is expected to retire by 2025. This crisis is real and demands a swift, collaborative response.

Fortunately, the National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice (NACNEP) has released its 17th annual report to Congress titled Preparing Nurse Faculty and Addressing the Shortage of Nurse Faculty and Clinical Preceptors to provide some recommendations for a federal response to address this issue. NACNEP’s members, which include nursing deans and faculty, practice leaders, organizational representatives, and federal staff, are calling on a public-private response to develop, support, and fund a wide range of initiatives to address the shortage of nurse faculty and enhance nursing education and training.

AACN was instrumental in providing the data that frame the issues in this report, which features an overview of the faculty shortage, a summary of federal and philanthropic efforts to address this issue, details on state board requirements for faculty and preceptor preparation, and continuing challenges. The report concludes that “the gap between the supply and demand for nurse faculty to educate new generations of nurses will continue, and likely widen. Bold, creative, collaborative, and targeted approaches are needed now” (p. 24).

The NACNEP report calls on Congress to focus on three priorities to fully address this perennial concern, including:

  1. Provide funding to programs that increase the number of nurse faculty and clinical preceptors and support nurse faculty development.
  2. Provide funding for the Health Resources and Services Administration to develop a nurse faculty residency program that emphasizes strategies to improve faculty recruitment, preparation, development, and retention.
  3. Create a national center devoted to nursing education and the development of nurse faculty and clinical preceptors, which will identify best practices for preparing faculty, establish a repository of information on the faculty population, pilot innovative projects to support the recruitment and retention diverse nurse educators, and raise the visibility of the nurse faculty role as a rewarding career choice, among other actions.

AACN will continue to lobby Congress to implement these federal recommendations as we work to address the faculty shortage in our advocacy, communication, data collection, and member education work. To further generate momentum for change, academic nurse leaders must also take steps to ensure that our efforts to sustain a healthy nursing workforce continues into the foreseeable future.  We are uniquely poised to serve as role models and mentors to students who will someday serve as education, research, and practice leaders. AACN is proud to join with our members in serving as a champion for the nurse faculty role and attracting a new generation of educators who combine their clinical expertise with a passion for teaching.

Additional Resources

Research:  Retirements and Succession of Nursing Faculty in 2016-2025
Fact Sheet:
  Nurse Faculty Shortage
Advocating for the Future Advancement of Academic Nursing Act (FAAN Act)
Vacant Faculty Positions for Academic Year 2020-2021
Position Statement:
Preferred Vision of the Professoriate in Baccalaureate & Graduate Nursing Programs

Past Rounds with Leadership

April 28, 2021 -  Sustaining the Nurse Faculty Population
March 31, 2021 - Divining the Data
February 24, 2021 - Collaboration, Community Engagement, and a Cure
January 27, 2021 - New Year, New Congress, New Administration
December 23, 2020 - Building a Solid Foundation
October 28, 2020 - Co-Creating the Future of Academic Nursing
September 30, 2020 - Combating Racism and Cultivating Inclusion
August 26, 2020 - Moving Towards Reopening Schools of Nursing
July 22, 2020 -  Bridging the Distance
June 24, 2020 -  Is Paying for Clinical Preceptors in Our Future?
May 27, 2020 -  Investing in the Future of Academic Nursing
April 29, 2020 -  Sustaining Nursing Education Pathways
March 25, 2020 -  Rising to Meet the Challenge
February 19, 2020 -  The Year of the Nurse Educator
January 29, 2020 -  A 2020 View of the Nursing Workforce
October 23, 2019 -  Building on the Past, Envisioning the Future
September 25, 2019 - A Legacy of Risks and Rewards
August 28, 2019 -  Academic Nursing and the Fourth Industrial Revolution
July 31, 2019 - A Time for Generative Thinking
June 26, 2019 - Celebrating the Power of Compassionate Care
May 29, 2019 - On the Front Line of the Opioid Crisis
April 24, 2019 - Galvanizing Support for Nursing Now USA
March 27, 2019 - Advocating for the Future of Nursing
February 27, 2019 - Monitoring Trends in Higher Education
January 30, 2019 - Taking Action to Champion the PhD in Nursing
November 28, 2018 - Artificial Intelligence
October 24, 2018 - AACN LEADS: Your Leadership Journey Accelerated!
September 26, 2018 - The Nursing Community Coalition Celebrates 10 Years
August 29, 2018 - Collaborating to Advance the PhD in Nursing
July 25, 2018 - Exercising Thought Leadership
June 27, 2018 - Moving Nursing Science from the Margin to Mainstream
May 23, 2018 - Rallying Support for Nursing Education
April 25, 2018 - Watching the Numbers
March 28, 2018 - Surveying the Landscape of Higher Education
February 28, 2018 - With Appreciation
January 31, 2018 - Strengthening the Pipeline to the PhD
November 29, 2017 - From Dialogue to Collaboration
October 25, 2017 - Bridging the Nurse Faculty Shortage
September 27, 2017 - Joining the Conversation about Competency-Based Education
August 23, 2017 - A Time for Moral Courage
July 26, 2017 - Leading the Way
June 28 - 2017 - Understanding Health Equity
May 24, 2017 - A Global Commitment to Advancing Academic Nursing
April 26, 2017 - Why We Need to Talk About Nursing Science
March 22, 2017 - Vital Directions for Nursing
February 22, 2017 - Standing on the Shoulders of Giants
January 25, 2017 - New Year, New Home Base for AACN
November 16, 2016 - The Lame-Duck Session and the New Administration
October 26, 2016 - Harnessing the Power of Technology
September 28, 2016 - Contemplating the Future of Higher Education
August 24, 2016 - Taking the Lead on Information Curation