New Web-Based Tool Provides Information Critical to Addressing the Nurse Faculty Shortage

Nurse Faculty Query lets users dynamically explore findings from the national survey on faculty work-life.

    • July 26, 2012

In 2010 the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Evaluating Innovations in Nursing Education program (EIN) conducted a nationwide survey of full-time nurse faculty focusing on their employment characteristics, workloads and attitudes toward work-life. More than 3,000 faculty members who teach at more than 270 nursing programs representative of all schools in the country offering entry-level degrees completed the survey for a response rate of 79 percent. Their responses provide baseline information that can help to guide and assess local and national efforts to improve nurse faculty work-life and retention rates, and also contribute to knowledge of factors that affect job satisfaction, intent to leave, and burnout.

Now it is possible for anyone interested—presidents, deans, department chairs, researchers and other faculty—to easily and quickly explore the findings on more than 60 characteristics related to faculty work-life and attitudes. The online interactive tool, the Nurse Faculty Query (NuFAQs), allows the user to customize the findings and compare such measures as the workload, satisfaction, and intent to leave academic nursing among faculty in rural versus urban programs, among those who are tenured versus untenured, and many other characteristics. To see a brief demonstration and begin using this resource, click here.

“In planning our initiative to generate evidence of the effectiveness of strategies to improve faculty recruitment and increase teaching productivity, the need for a snapshot of the current status of faculty work-life became apparent. More knowledge of aspects of work that may contribute to the faculty shortage is critical to designing promising interventions as well as providing a baseline for assessing their effectiveness,” said Michael Yedidia, MPH, PhD, director of EIN. “While insights from school-level data and convenience samples existed, national data on a representative sample of nursing faculty members did not.”

EIN awarded grants to its third cohort earlier this month. These grantees will conduct studies to generate findings that will inform strategies to prepare faculty to educate nurses to take on roles in the reformed health care system, as recommended by the groundbreaking Institute of Medicine report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.

These new projects will focus on: identifying barriers to and opportunities for doctoral students to pursue nurse faculty careers; assessing the stages of career decision-making related to becoming a nurse faculty member; the hiring practices and intentions of directors of nursing programs for DNP- and PhD-prepared faculty; the impact of the demands of teaching doctoral students on research productivity for doctorally prepared nurse faculty; and the prospects for early-entry doctoral programs to increase the number and productivity of future nurse faculty.

EIN’s mission is to support evaluations of strategies that expand teaching capacity and promote faculty recruitment and retention in schools of nursing.

More information about these projects and earlier EIN-funded projects are available on the program’s website.