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The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health
FIGURE 4-5 Age distribution of nurses who work as faculty.
SOURCE: HRSA, 2010b.
of nurses who have a secondary position as faculty—those who hold a nonfaculty (e.g., clinical) principal position—are aged 60 or older. Nurses who work as faculty as their secondary position tend to be younger; among nurses under age 50, more work as faculty as their secondary than as their principal position (HRSA, 2010b). Moreover, the average retirement age for nursing faculty is 62.5 (Berlin and Sechrist, 2002); as a result, many full-time faculty will be ready to retire soon. Given the landscape of the health care system and the fragmented nursing education system, the current pipeline cannot easily replenish this loss, let alone meet the potential demand for more educators. In addition to the innovative strategies of the Veterans Affairs Nursing Academy (VANA) and Gulf Coast Health Services Steering Committee for responding to faculty shortages (discussed later in this chapter), a potential opportunity to relieve faculty shortages could involve the creation of programs that would allow MSN, DNP, and PhD students to teach as nursing faculty interns, with mentoring by full-time faculty. Box 4-4 presents a nurse profile of one assistant professor and her experience moving into an academic career.
Effects of the first degree at entry into the profession Nurses who enter the profession with an associate’s degree are less likely than those who enter with a