My problem finding a faculty job is that there is not a match between my area of clinical competence (NICU) and the rotations that entry-level instructors are needed to teach. Never having worked Peds or OB, I can't really teach those clinical rotations.
Also, I have a PhD ... which puts me at a rank higher than the typical new faculty member who starts as an Instructor. Having spent most of my career in leadership roles, I am more qualified to teach leadership courses, theory, introduction to research, etc. However, those teaching assignments are considered the plumb teaching assignments, reserved for the faculty members who have been at a particular school for a long time. They don't want to give courses like those to the new person on the faculty.
So ... I don't "fit" -- and neither do the other PhD's who have spent most of their careers in the practice arena rather than working up the academic career ladder. It's a mismatch. In fact, when I was graduating with my PhD several years ago, a leading academic nursing conference included a panel discussion on how new grad PhD's were not able to "cross over" and find jobs in the academic world because their career paths did not match the old traditional path of being a clinical Instructor with an MSN and then getting their PhD's after they had build up seniority within the university system. Those of us who entered PhD programs from the practice arena were having problems finding jobs. We still are.
We are out here and many of us would love to help solve the faculty shortage. We have spent years in the practice arena and have a lot to offer students. We have done well financially and don't mind easing into retirement by teaching a few courses for the local nursing school. But we don't fit the traditional model of career paths and the schools are not adapting to the changing needs of the 21st century faculty workforce. That's the part of the faculty shortage no one wants to talk about. They would rather blame the money situation than face the fact that they have been turning away qualified faculty for years. They want either:
1. MSN-prepared entry-level faculty members to serve as clinical instructors for beginner-level students.
2. Senior academicians and researchers who have spent careers climbing the academic career ladder with a track record of research grants, publications, etc.
Someone like me with a PhD and tons of practical experience in leadership positions actually making things work in a hospital, doing staff development and continuing education, active in professional organizations, etc. ... well, we just don't fit their mold and they look down their noses at us.
I've also talked to instructors who have been treated so badly by their schools that it is ridiculous -- and I myself, was treated badly by one former university employer. I know some schools whose faculty positions turn over continuously because the faculty is so dissatisfied with how they are treated. Each new person is optimist when hired, but within a year, they are in my office telling me how terrible it is to work for their school. They quit and I see the same thing happen the next year with the new person hired. It's a revolving door ... but instead of addressing the underlying problems, the schools just keep hiring new people, many of whom are a little less qualified than the ones who left the year before. The "good people" have all learned that these are terrible employers to work for.
Then the schools whine about the faculty shortage and ask us for money -- as if that were the root cause of the problem.
Do I sound a little bitter?