Perhaps nothing causes more administrative anxiety for deans at nursing schools than the nation’s nursing shortage. It not only poses a real threat to the country’s health care delivery system, but also to higher ed institutions that need nursing faculty.
Many are feeling the pinch. Positions remain unfilled, some for years. So nursing schools are rethinking and redesigning their traditional recruiting and retention strategies. Their solutions are quite varied, ranging from creating e-jobs and dual appointments to sharing existing faculty.
According to the Special Survey on Vacant Faculty Positions, published in October 2012 by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), 662 nursing schools with baccalaureate and/or graduate programs identified 1,181 faculty vacancies. Another AACN report—titled “2011-2012 Enrollment and Graduations in Baccalaureate and Graduate Programs in Nursing”—reveals even more problems. Nursing schools “turned away 75,587 qualified applicants from baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs in 2011 due to an insufficient number of faculty, clinical sites, classroom space, clinical preceptors, and budget constraints.”