Shortage of Nursing Education Faculty
A lack of qualified nursing teachers is causing concern for the future of nursing programs. This shortage of nursing teachers is making entry in to nursing programs more difficult for students.
Nursing programs at the state's colleges and universities turned away 2,357 acceptable applications last year, partly because of inadequate faculty, according to the report by the Maryland Board of Nursing and the Maryland Higher Education Commission.
Nurse educators need a master's degree to teach nursing at the state's many community colleges. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the preferred degree for faculty at a four-year college is a Doctor of Science in Nursing or a Nursing Ph.D.
In the last five years, enrollments in baccalaureate and associate nursing degree programs have risen 38 percent and 55 percent respectively, but there has been a decline in master's and doctoral nursing program enrollments, said Judy Hendrickson, director of career and workforce education for the Higher Education Commission.
This shortage in nursing faculty looks to be a long-term problem. Not only do registered nurses make more money than nursing faculty, but also programs specifically geared towards nursing education are limited. Many experts suggest that higher faculty salaries and retention bonuses may help attract more nursing education staff.