Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Program Announces Grants Supporting Evaluations of Strategies for Addressing Nurse Faculty Shortage

Evaluating Innovations in Nursing Education Program Awards Grants to Support Research on Doctoral Education and Production of Faculty

    • August 9, 2012

New Brunswick, N.J. – The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Evaluating Innovations in Nursing Education (EIN) program today announced its third cohort of grantees. Research awards for this third cycle of funding will focus on doctoral nursing education and the production of nurse faculty. The grantees each received awards ranging from $160,000 to $300,000 each.

The major aim of EIN is to support research to understand the effectiveness of promising interventions and educational strategies for addressing the nurse faculty shortage. Previous EIN grants funded evaluations of interventions aimed at increasing teaching productivity and improving work-life of faculty. The new grants support research aimed at better understanding the essential elements of preparation to teach, and to inform effective and efficient strategies for increasing the supply of nurse faculty. 

 “This dual focus on doctoral preparation to teach and on expansion of the supply of nurse faculty is intended to address the challenge of preparing nurses to perform key roles in the reformed health care system,” said, Michael Yedidia, program director for EIN.  “We expect the new grantees to expand our knowledge of how to meet this challenge.”

Grantees were notified of their awards in mid-July. They are:

  • American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), to conduct a national study of doctoral students in nursing to identify barriers and facilitators to seeking a faculty position. The research team will survey a random sample of PhD and DNP students regarding:  previous work experiences; research and learning experiences; preparation for teaching during doctoral education; current financial issues and future salary expectations; perceptions of faculty roles and supports; and the attractiveness of non-faculty nursing roles and opportunities. The investigators will supplement the survey with a salary study comparing compensation of nurses in faculty positions and in practice roles.
  • Indiana University School of Nursing, to examine the stages of decision-making leading to a career in nursing education, including: decisions of MSN-prepared nurse educators to seek a doctoral degree; factors distinguishing decisions of doctoral students to seek a PhD as compared to a DNP degree; decisions of doctoral students to seek a faculty position; satisfaction of recent doctoral graduates with academic and/or practice roles; and intentions of recent graduates to stay in their current roles. Findings will be used to develop strategies for increasing doctoral enrollment as well as numbers of graduates who seek and are retained in faculty roles.
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing, to study the hiring practices and intentions of deans and directors of nursing programs for DNP and PhD-prepared nurses. The researchers will survey deans or directors of half the nation’s nursing schools and programs to ascertain hiring intentions, perspectives on the distinctive and common capacities of DNP- and PhD-prepared faculty members to fulfill key roles in nursing education, and the mechanisms that schools employ to integrate DNP- as well as PhD-prepared faculty members into the program.
  • Villanova University College of Nursing, to examine the relationship between the demands of teaching doctoral students and research productivity among doctorally prepared nurse faculty members. The project team will conduct a survey of a representative sample of faculty members teaching in PhD and DNP programs and explore the research productivity and scholarship of faculty teaching doctoral students, perceptions of the impact of doctoral teaching on productivity, strategies employed to maintain productivity, and assessment of work-life balance and its consequences for research productivity.  
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Nursing, to generate insights into the prospects for early-entry doctoral programs (admitting pre-baccalaureate students and recent graduates) to increase the number and productivity of future nurse faculty. A case study will compare early-entry, mid-entry, and late-entry doctoral students enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Nursing to identify distinctive decision-making processes and to document differences in productivity, rates of academic progression, and pursuit of faculty positions. Research will also include in-depth interviews with students and review of student records.  

EIN is committed to disseminating findings about successful strategies to address the nurse faculty shortage, as well as providing guidelines for their successful implementation across the nation.  To see customized findings from EIN’s national survey of nurse faculty, go to:  http://evaluatinginnovationsinnursing.org/nufaqs-nurse-faculty-data-query/?intro=yes

For more information on grantee and program office research activities, please visit: www.evaluatinginnovationsinnursing.org.

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About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation 

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, measurable, and timely change. For 40 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. Follow the Foundation on Twitter (www.rwjf.org/twitter) or Facebook (www.rwjf.org/facebook).

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