The 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 admitted to
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, U.S. nursing schools have to limit the number of qualified
students they accept, largely because they lack staff to teach them.
According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), 32,797 qualified applicants were turned away in 2004.
"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."
The AACN reports that 200 to 300
doctorate-level faculty will be eligible for retirement each year from
2003 through 2012 and 220 to 280 faculty holding master's degrees, from
2012 through 2018.
"Because of our increasing enrollment,
we're scrambling for faculty," says Dr. Pettigrew. "Everyone is. UC
still needs five or six faculty members for this quarter, which is
comparable to shortages faced by other nursing schools."
Some colleges are hiring nurse
practitioner graduates as teachers, says Dr. Pettigrew, "but it's not
uncommon for them not to have taken any teaching courses.
"This grant will help us increase the
number of qualified nursing educators through classes specifically
geared toward teaching," she says.