The recession has made jobs at hospitals tougher to find for newly graduated nurses, and the nation's four-year nursing colleges are having a harder time finding the teachers to educate those who do still want to enter the profession.
Nurse-faculty vacancy rate up: AACN
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing, which has tracked nurse-faculty vacancy rates since 2000, reports in its annual survey that more than 880 teaching jobs are budgeted for but unfilled at nursing schools. The 6.9% vacancy rate for the 2010-11 academic year is up from 6.6% the year before among the survey’s 556 nursing schools.
Researchers have said for years that a shortage of college faculty is constraining the ability to turn out highly trained nurses fast enough to meet projected future demand. Although hiring of new nurses has slowed as the recession caused retirement-age clinicians to hold on to their jobs, researchers still project a spike in nursing demand when the economy improves further.
When that happens, according to the survey, nursing schools are likely to find themselves lacking in faculty again, as teaching salaries continue to lag behind what nurses can earn at hospitals and more than half of the open jobs included in the survey require doctorate-level education.
Send us a letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.