Posted by smkoepke:
"They really need to hire more instructors, and it is frustrating for the students because our community college routinely ranks as one of the richest ones in the nation, so we know it is not a money issue."
In North Carolina, unfortunately, it IS a money issue. The "good old boys and gals" in the state legislature are "penny wise and pound foolish." They lack the foresight in investing needed $$$ into the community college system (which, BTW, is STILL one of the best in the nation, DESPITE their negligence), and give the big bucks to the university system instead. So sad, since this area of the state has been hard hit by NAFTA, and our good jobs have been heading South. It is the community college system that transforms people with no jobs/ low-paying jobs into economically productive, tax-paying citizens.
We are faced with a critical shortage of community college nursing instructors across NC. Staff nurses routinely make $10 grand MORE/ year than ADN instructors. And, IF the ADN instructor has a Masters, she/ he can make $20-$30,000 MORE/year in private practice. We are even having difficulty attracting BSN's to be instructors and most new ADN instructors are BSN. MSN's are becoming a rarity.
However, despite our lack of educational preparation, BSN instructors do a very good job and we are very dedicated. Honestly, I give my 110% (to the point of exhaustion) to my students. I want above all else, to see my students succeed.
It is very frustrating to see the amount of applicants and the alloted "slots." It is getting ridiculous. Our cc can take 42 students and no more (due to the faculty shortage). Last year, we had 347 applicants, this year even more, with no end in sight. The students are jumping through so many hoops and having to wait so long (sometimes 3, 4 years), just to GET IN to our program.
At the same time, area hospitals are DESPERATE for nurses and are importing nurses from all over the world. Local people are out of work and would LOVE the opportunity to enter our RN program.
We can turn out a quality RN in only 21 months. Instructing our future nurses is very labor-intensive (generally 10 students per instructor at the MOST). We could accept many more qualified candidates into our program IF... the state legislature would raise our salaries to the point we can attract and hire more nursing instructors. Most prospective nursing instructor candidates won't even give us a second look due to the salary issue.
So, it all boils down to political PRIORITIES. Legislators who don't see training future nurses as much of a priority in the tight state budget and won't commit the funding we so desperately need.