Nursing Academia - We Need New Blood! - page 2

The average age of academic nurse educators in the u.s. is 55.5 years. Meanwhile, the average age at which nurse faculty members retire is 62.5 years. it is not surprising, therefore, that at least... Read More

  1. Visit  CloudySky profile page
    4
    Respectfully I agree with what someone else said. They have been talking about a dire shortage of nursing teachers for over 15 years.

    In addition I think the educators won't be the young ones you want. The teachers will most likely come form the ranks of older nurses who can't take the physical or stress level of direct care.

    I think having fewer nursing schools would help. In my area we have too many nursing programs graduating too many nurses who can't find jobs. Sorry but this is my opinion.
    tyvin, CCRNDiva, elkpark, and 1 other like this.
  2. Visit  VickyRN profile page
    3
    Quote from CloudySky
    In addition I think the educators won't be the young ones you want. The teachers will most likely come form the ranks of older nurses who can't take the physical or stress level of direct care.
    I've worked many jobs and still work part-time in a clinical RN staffing position at my local hospital. Contrary to the popular stereotype, being a nurse educator can be as stressful - if not more stressful - than any nursing job in a hospital. Often we put in enormous hours, way beyond the typical 40 hour work week. And a good portion of that labor is hands-on and physical.

    I take exception to what you say about nursing instructors "can't take the physical or stress level of direct care." I, for one, have three groups of 9-10 students each on a busy clinical floor. (This equates to 7 to 8 students being on the floor, each taking care of at least one patient.) It takes tremendous stamina, endurance, leadership, keen memory, flexibility, and organization skills to keep up with that many students and that may patients (under the students' care) on a high-acuity unit that has nurse-patient ratios much lower than the 7-8 students we have typically on the floor during our shift. Talk about stress! And yes, we instructors participate in direct patient care on the floor also - helping our students turn, bathe, ambulate, etc. The work can be very physical at time. Being a clinical nursing instructor is definitely not for the faint in heart! BTW, some of the older faculty we have in our program can run circles around the younger nurses.
    MandaRN94, iteachob, and Purple_Scrubs like this.
  3. Visit  llg profile page
    7
    The "faculty shortage" will continue until schools become serious about recruiting and retaining strong faculty. For the past several years (decades?), they have been running on a model that doesn't match the actual societal/workforce realities. They don't offer jobs that real people want. When they start looking at the jobs they have to offer through the eyes of those in the workforce looking for employment ... things will improve.

    Salary is only the tip of the iceberg. Another big issue relates to the schedule/hours/etc. In my area, they look for adjunct instructors -- people to work nearly full time for a few months per year ... and then have no work for the rest of the year. They pay those adjuncts less than a full time salary even though they are working full time hours and give them no benefits ... and only want them to work a couple months of the year, to cover some specific clinical rotations. That type of job may have worked for some people many years ago, when married women only wanted to work on a temporary basis while their kids were in school and they didn't have to worry about health insurance, retirement, etc. because "hubby" took care of all that. But that type of employment model doesn't match the needs of working professionals today.

    I have ties with several schools -- all of which struggle to find short-term adjunct faculty on a regular basis. When they convert those multiple little adjunct positions to solid FTE's (either full time or part time) ... with benefits and some job security ... they'll find takers. Until then, they are not attractive positions for many people.

    People need real jobs with full benefits and a steady income they can count on -- and income commensurate with their economic worth in the job market. Many people would be willing to accept a little less salary to do what they love and if the workplace were attractive. Until schools get serious about changing the ways they do things -- and start considering the needs of the workers they are trying to hire -- they will struggle.
    mystory, nursel56, Altra, and 4 others like this.
  4. Visit  VickyRN profile page
    0
    Quote from llg
    the "faculty shortage" will continue until schools become serious about recruiting and retaining strong faculty. for the past several years (decades?), they have been running on a model that doesn't match the actual societal/workforce realities. they don't offer jobs that real people want. when they start looking at the jobs they have to offer through the eyes of those in the workforce looking for employment ... things will improve.

    salary is only the tip of the iceberg. another big issue relates to the schedule/hours/etc. in my area, they look for adjunct instructors -- people to work nearly full time for a few months per year ... and then have no work for the rest of the year. they pay those adjuncts less than a full time salary even though they are working full time hours and give them no benefits ... and only want them to work a couple months of the year, to cover some specific clinical rotations. that type of job may have worked for some people many years ago, when married women only wanted to work on a temporary basis while their kids were in school and they didn't have to worry about health insurance, retirement, etc. because "hubby" took care of all that. but that type of employment model doesn't match the needs of working professionals today.

    i have ties with several schools -- all of which struggle to find short-term adjunct faculty on a regular basis. when they convert those multiple little adjunct positions to solid fte's (either full time or part time) ... with benefits and some job security ... they'll find takers. until then, they are not attractive positions for many people.

    people need real jobs with full benefits and a steady income they can count on -- and income commensurate with their economic worth in the job market. many people would be willing to accept a little less salary to do what they love and if the workplace were attractive. until schools get serious about changing the ways they do things -- and start considering the needs of the workers they are trying to hire -- they will struggle.
    excellent points, llg. i know in our huge university-based program our director would like to offer more appealing faculty positions, salaries, and benefits, but our hands are tied, due to hiring and wage restrictions secondary to draconian state budget cuts. and we've all been warned to get ready for another round of cuts, which will be even more austere.
  5. Visit  Xsited2baNurse profile page
    1
    Quote from meg2465
    Any idea why educator salaries remain so dismally low?
    You know, I completely agree with this sentiment and the line of thought that it follows. If you want more nurse educators, you have to raise their pay. I'm sure it's much more easily said than done, but still, it's what's going to have to happen. Make it to where they average at least 75K/ yr, and I'd be willing to bet that the MSNE programs would become flooded en masse.
    VickyRN likes this.
  6. Visit  mindlor profile page
    6
    The first intervention should be to start shuttering nursing schools, there are WAY WAY WAY too many
    whichone'spink, mystory, hope3456, and 3 others like this.
  7. Visit  VickyRN profile page
    0
    Quote from mindlor
    The first intervention should be to start shuttering nursing schools, there are WAY WAY WAY too many
    Tell that to the hundreds of qualified students in my state (North Carolina) who either can't get into a nursing program, due insufficient seats, or have to wait up to 5 years to get into a program. And yes, there are new grad RN positions available in North Carolina. The main reason these programs do not have enough space and are turning away students or requiring some students to wait for years is lack of qualified faculty.

    If you wish to discuss the impending demographically based nursing shortage due to an aging nurse workforce and the aging Boomer patient population (silver tsunami) who will need greatly expanded acute and long-term care health and social services for at least the next 4 decades, then that is the subject of another thread.
  8. Visit  mindlor profile page
    5
    I do not wish to discuss the nursing shortage because there is not one. Nurses are struggling to find work. Take a gander at the many topics of new grads looking for work. The only people preaching of a nursing shortage are nursing school administrators and nursing instructors, for obvious reasons. students need to be redirected to PT, OT, PA, SP, RT, or many of the other medical disciplines that are still in vogue. The recession saw many people lose their jobs and run towards nursing school with the impression that nursing is recession proof. This is a lie. I and many other were duped. The schools have our money and we have no jobs. The fact that the govt continues to grant work visas to foreign nurses is another kettle of fish and is very sad....anyway, this is the reality and anyone who thinks otherwise may need to remove their head from the sand and take a look around, outside of the academic setting....
    whichone'spink, mystory, hope3456, and 2 others like this.
  9. Visit  elkpark profile page
    6
    Quote from VickyRN
    Tell that to the hundreds of qualified students in my state (North Carolina) who either can't get into a nursing program, due insufficient seats, or have to wait up to 5 years to get into a program. And yes, there are new grad RN positions available in North Carolina. The main reason these programs do not have enough space and are turning away students or requiring some students to wait for years is lack of qualified faculty.
    I would disagree that shortage of faculty is necessarily the main reason. I've taught in ADN and BSN programs in NC, also, and the BON requires that, in order to increase the number of seats in a nursing program, the school have not only adequate faculty to accommodate the increased number of students, but also adequate, BON-approved clinical settings. In my experience, finding good clinical settings is what's getting harder and harder as time goes on, rather than finding sufficient faculty. At the same time that the number (and size) of nursing programs have been increasing in recent years, hospitals have been shrinking, merging into "healthcare systems," and consolidating specialty units/services -- and, while general med-surg hasn't been much of a problem in my experience, it has become extremely difficult to find adequate, appropriate clinical settings to provide good educational experiences for specialty rotations (peds, OB, psych, etc.). It was a nightmare every single semester the last time I had a teaching job, because the large urban area in which "my" program (state uni BSN) was located had so many nursing programs, all competing vigorously for the same few specialty clinical opportunities.

    Also, I agree with the previous posters who have commented that part of the program is too many nursing programs, esp. nursing programs of not-particularly-good quality. We all know that there are many poor quality nursing programs out there -- IMO, the public and the nursing community would be much better off if they were closed.
    mystory, elizabethgrad09, hope3456, and 3 others like this.
  10. Visit  VickyRN profile page
    1
    Quote from mindlor
    I do not wish to discuss the nursing shortage because there is not one. Nurses are struggling to find work. Take a gander at the many topics of new grads looking for work. The only people preaching of a nursing shortage are nursing school administrators and nursing instructors, for obvious reasons. students need to be redirected to PT, OT, PA, SP, RT, or many of the other medical disciplines that are still in vogue. The recession saw many people lose their jobs and run towards nursing school with the impression that nursing is recession proof. This is a lie. I and many other were duped. The schools have our money and we have no jobs. The fact that the govt continues to grant work visas to foreign nurses is another kettle of fish and is very sad....anyway, this is the reality and anyone who thinks otherwise may need to remove their head from the sand and take a look around, outside of the academic setting....
    You sound very disillusioned, mindlor. Whatever hardships you or others are experiencing right now, the situation with nursing can and will literally change overnight. Again, this is the subject of another blog or thread. A massive nursing shortage is right around the corner and it will happen very suddenly just as this temporary glut of nurses appeared suddenly due to the Great Recession. And, let's get the record straight, I don't have my head in the sand (as your post implies), but I have extensively studied this subject from every conceivable angle. Again, if you wish to debate this "nursing shortage" subject, please start another thread (or join the hundreds of other threads here on allnurses discussing this topic), as the subject of this blog is the lack of younger faculty in nursing academia. For instance, I would appreciate any comments or insights you have to share as to why you personally would or would not consider a career in nursing academia. Thank you.
    iteachob likes this.
  11. Visit  mindlor profile page
    2
    Firstt let me say this Vicky...I have the utmost respect for you. Your contributions and insights to this community are invaluable. Also, I am not disillusioned. I love nursing. I believe in the nursing process and in the nursing model of care (holistic care).

    I am a male and thus tend to lean a bit more towards pragmatic thinking. I understand that that this is your thread and will certainly cease speaking of the real/perceived nursing shortage per your request.

    To answer your question, I can certainly see myself teaching nursing someday, hopefully at a prestigious school. The need for GOOD teachers is HUGE. Most nursing instructors have no formal training in education and basically read from power points. The nursing texts are mainly dull, and coma inducing, and not engaging to the student whatsoever.

    So yes, once I get some experience under my belt in the real world, I will enter into teaching but just as I enter into nursing, it will be a mission of change. I hope to change nursing annd the teaching of nursing because in both areas there is huge room for improvement.

    Also I feel that Elks point about clinical space is spot on. Do you know how many clinical hours I got in peds.....? I got 8, 8 whole hours.....

    Anyway, peace and have a great holiday season
    nursel56 and VickyRN like this.
  12. Visit  VickyRN profile page
    0
    Quote from elkpark
    I would disagree that shortage of faculty is necessarily the main reason. I've taught in ADN and BSN programs in NC, also, and the BON requires that, in order to increase the number of seats in a nursing program, the school have not only adequate faculty to accommodate the increased number of students, but also adequate, BON-approved clinical settings. In my experience, finding good clinical settings is what's getting harder and harder as time goes on, rather than finding sufficient faculty. At the same time that the number (and size) of nursing programs have been increasing in recent years, hospitals have been shrinking, merging into "healthcare systems," and consolidating specialty units/services -- and, while general med-surg hasn't been much of a problem in my experience, it has become extremely difficult to find adequate, appropriate clinical settings to provide good educational experiences for specialty rotations (peds, OB, psych, etc.). It was a nightmare every single semester the last time I had a teaching job, because the large urban area in which "my" program (state uni BSN) was located had so many nursing programs, all competing vigorously for the same few specialty clinical opportunities.

    Also, I agree with the previous posters who have commented that part of the program is too many nursing programs, esp. nursing programs of not-particularly-good quality. We all know that there are many poor quality nursing programs out there -- IMO, the public and the nursing community would be much better off if they were closed.
    Thank you for sharing your insights, elkpark. We have had the same frustrating experience trying to find adequate clinical sites for our pediatric clinical rotations. The general pediatric unit we use is literally being overrun with students (and not just nursing students, but medical students, respiratory therapy students, etc.).

    What we have experienced in our nursing program has been major difficulty getting some faculty positions filled (especially those in peds). We have had stellar candidates apply, only to withdraw their application once they saw how low the pay is (relative to other positions they have had, such as pediatric nurse practitioners).

    I agree with you about some nursing programs being poor quality and that we all would be better off without them.

    Our faculty in our program are also mainly in their 50s. I am concerned about the near future (the subject of this blog) when these older faculty begin to retire. I do not see an abundance of younger educators available to replace them. In fact, many of our younger nurse faculty are leaving us for greener pastures. I would love to see more younger nurses entering our field.
  13. Visit  mindlor profile page
    0
    Oh Vicky, one more request...

    What in your opinion signifies young?

    Cuz I am not young lol

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