UC Receives Grant to Help Address Nursing Faculty Shortage
The UC College of Nursing has received a $775,000 federal grant to help ease the national shortage of nursing educators, and ultimately increase the number of applicants who can be admitted to nursing school.
The grant, from the Health Resources and Services Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will be used to recruit faculty members, provide additional courses to faculty and increase the number of courses offered to students both on campus and online.
While the national need for nurses continues to grow, says Amy Pettigrew, DNS, associate professor of nursing at UC, nursing schools across the country are limiting the number of qualified students they admit, largely because of a faculty shortage.
“Looking around UC College of Nursing,” says Dr. Pettigrew, “we’re realizing many of us are over 45 and we’re concerned about being able to replace ourselves.
“Because of our increasing enrollment, we’re scrambling for faculty,” Dr. Pettigrew says. “Everyone is. UC still needs five or six faculty members for the fall quarter, which is comparable to shortages faced by other nursing schools.
“This grant will help us increase the number of qualified nursing educators through classes specifically geared toward teaching.”
Many people graduating with nurse practitioner degrees are being hired by colleges to teach, says Dr. Pettigrew, “but it’s not uncommon for them not to have taken any teaching courses.”
“The outcome of this innovative grant project,” says Andrea Lindell, DNSc, dean of the College of Nursing, “will contribute to increasing the number of much-needed faculty for nursing programs. We’re working to do our part as a college of nursing to help alleviate the present and looming national shortage of faculty to teach in nursing programs.”
According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), 32,797 qualified applicants were turned away from U.S. nursing schools in 2004.
The AACN also reports 200–300 doctorally prepared faculty will be eligible for retirement each year from 2003 through 2012, and 220–280 master’s-prepared nurse faculty, between 2012 and 2018, which also contributes to a nursing faculty shortage.
Founded in 1889, UC’s College of Nursing was the first school in the country to offer a baccalaureate program in nursing, and received the first endowment ever given to a nursing program. In 2002 the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredited the college for a 10-year period, distinguishing it with 71 years of continuous accreditation.
The college currently has over 800 students, including undergraduate, graduate and PhD candidates, making it the 12th largest nursing school in the United States in terms of student and faculty, according to U.S. News & World Report. The college is also in the top 6 percent nationally in terms of research funding it receives.