Completion and attrition of nursing PhD students of the 2001 to 2010 matriculating cohorts
Di Fang, PhD, Lin Zhan, PhD, RN, FAAN
Nursing Outlook (2021), 69, 340-349
The number of graduates from nursing PhD programs has not increased proportionally to meet the demand, and the recent decrease in enrollment in these programs has caused concerns in the nursing education community. The purpose of this study is to examine completion and attrition of students in nursing PhD programs.
- The completion rate of nursing PhD students of the 2001-2010 matriculating cohorts was 74.2% and the attrition rate was 22.7%.
- On average, it took 5.7 years for the students to graduate and 3.7 years for the students who left without graduating to drop out.
- The mean age of the students at matriculation was 42.4 and the mean age at graduation was 47.5.
- Multivariate analysis found that male students, part-time students, students of post-baccalaureate programs, students who were not faculty or held a part-time faculty position, students of the 2006-2010 matriculation cohorts, and students in PhD programs with 25% or more of courses taught online were more likely to experience attrition.
Individual and institutional characteristics associated with short tenures of deanships in academic nursing
Di Fang, PhD, Rosalie Mainous, PhD, APRN, FAANP, FAAN
Nursing Outlook (2019), 67(5), 578-585
The departures of chief academic administrators of nursing programs within a short tenure are likely to affect the operation of their institutions significantly. The purpose of this study is to identify individual and institutional characteristics that are associated with short tenues (less than 5 years) of deanships. Deans’ records were obtained from the membership database of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) for 11 starting cohorts between 2001 and 2011. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were used for the analysis.
- The percentage of deans of the 2001-2011 starting cohorts who left their positions before 5 years is 41%.
- Gender, race/ethnicity, educational credentials of deans, and first deanship are not associated with leaving a deanship before 5 years.
- Bivariate analysis found that deans in newly created nursing schools are more likely than deans in established schools to leave their positions before 5 years.
- Deans in smaller programs are more likely than deans in established programs to leave their positions before 5 years.
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
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 2016-2025 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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.