Who Will Educate Our Nurses?

A Strategy to Address the Nurse Faculty Shortage in New Jersey
Nursing students working on a mannequin during a class.

The Issue:
There is a nursing faculty shortage that restricts the growth and responsiveness of the nursing workforce. In 2007, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation developed the New Jersey Nursing Initiative (NJNI), including the NJNI Faculty Preparation Program (FPP), to address the nursing faculty shortage in New Jersey.

Key Findings

  • Programs that produced graduates ready to become faculty and committed to at least a part-time career in nursing education included generous financial support, socialization to become nursing faculty (including mentorship), and formal education courses. 

  • Financial support was a key factor in scholars' decision to apply for and ability to complete the program.

Conclusion / Next Steps:
Programs should combine faculty preparation with advanced clinical training, and allow scholars to work while completing the program. Financial support is invaluable, and should consider financial needs beyond educational and living costs. Strong faculty support and mentoring are also essential, and programs should set clear expectations and requirements for acculturation and mentoring.

About the Study:
This paper examines the implementation of the FPP, using data from scholar focus groups, scholar surveys, interviews with faculty and project directors and annual grantee reports.

The FPP aims to increase the number of nurse faculty in New Jersey by providing grants to nursing schools. It included 61 scholars, with three masters and two PhD cohorts.