Alternatively, it may lead them to focusing on their economic stability first then to sharing their expertise and skills later when they are more financially secured.
However, this leads to another of Linda Allen's cited reasons, which are the increased age of the current Faculty, their inevitable lessened period of service and their retirement in numbers.
Allen explained that the "average age of a Faculty is at 51.5" and Yordy provided that the "average age of their retirement is at 62.5." If that is so, this means that a faculty may have about ten years of service ahead of him. This may be good but if they will retire at the same period because they are at the same age group, a sudden decline in Nurse Faculties will result.
This may leave the nursing practice out of nurse experts and in great need of competent and qualified teachers who will train the younger generation of Nurses.
This shortage, naturally, will have an effect on the nursing education. More specifically, a Nursing school may limit its' admittance of qualified applicants depending on the number of its existing Faculties. AACN provided that in 2008, "a total 49,948 applicants were turned away from Baccalaureate and Graduate School Programs due to, [among numerous reasons], an insufficient number of faculties." Resultantly, if schools will turn away qualified candidates, then "the need for more than one million new and replacement nurses by 2016" will not be met (AACN, 2009).
Another reason raised by Allen is the insufficient Master's and doctoral-prepared Nurses who can fill the gap. Yordy stated that "for Master's-prepared Faculty, the mean and median age was at about 49; while the mean age for the award of a Doctorate was at about 53." This still shows that the Nurses pursuing higher education for teaching is already at their mature age. Again, they only have a limited number of years to allot for training new Nurses.
On the other hand, Allen provided that "historically, nurses were encouraged to work rather than continue their education." If this is so, then naturally, nurse educators will be at their older age when they step into the teaching career.
However, can RNs be enticed into teaching at an earlier age? Karen Hessler, an RN, wrote about the recruitment and retention of novice faculties or those below the age of 35 and she has suggested several approaches to attracting the younger RN generation into the teaching path.
Her recommendations include provision of guidance, fostering of socialization, encouraging flexibility, conducting orientation, facilitating collaboration, allowing for mistakes, coordinating teaching assignments, enabling growth and offering rewards.
If her suggestions will be scrutinized, it will be seen that they are practical and achievable. The decision will now rest on the concerned authorities to allow for the recommendations and therefore help the overburdened industry of nursing.
As a whole, the nursing profession is a vital sector in the country. Aside from providing jobs, it more importantly helps the nation maintain good health. If a shortage in its most important industry is not addressed, a domino effect may happen that will seriously endanger not just the Profession but the entire country as well. Steps are needed to address its concern and it has to be done with alacrity and good planning. Strategies that are more relevant need to be put in place to ensure that the shortage will be addressed while the problems are still being forecasted and not when it is already taking place. After all, the needs that the Nurses are attending to are the most essential of all necessities, which are life and health.
Los Angeles Almanac. Retrieved June 6, 2009. Website:
Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved June 13, 2009. Website:
American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Retrieved June 13, 2009. Website:
Yordy, Karl. (2006). The Nursing Faculty Shortage: A Crisis for Health Care. Retrieved June 14, 2009. Website: http://www.rwjf.org/files/publications/other/NursingFacultyShortage071006.pdf
Reinhard, Susan., Wright, Barbara., & Cook, Mary Ellen. (2007). New Jersey's Nursing Faculty Shortage: A Technical Report for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Retrieved June 14, 2009. Website: http://www.rwjf.org/files/research/nursingfacultyreport.pdf
Allen, Linda. (2008). The Nursing Shortage Continues as the Faculty Shortage Grows. Nursing Economics. 26(1), 36-38.