Preparing nurse educators to confront a critical nurse shortage

Nurse Faculty Mentored Leadership Development Program

The shortage of nurses in the United States could exceed one million by 2020, due largely to the scarcity of trained faculty, according to theJournal of the American Medical Association.

US nursing schools turned away more than 42,000 qualified applicants in 2006-07 because of shrinking nursing faculty, a lack of facilities, too few clinical training placements and limited funds, JAMA reported.

To help retain nurse faculty and prepare the next generation, the Elsevier Foundation awarded a $200,000 grant to the Sigma Theta Tau International Foundation for Nursing (STTI) – the honor society of nursing – to support the Nurse Faculty Mentored Leadership Development Program.

The pilot program kicked off April 17 with a three-day workshop at STTI’s headquarters in Indianapolis. Early career nurse educators with an advanced degree will get professional mentoring for 18 months from established nurse faculty leaders. Mentor/mentee pairs will come from different institutions.

Research shows that new faculty members who have worked successfully with a mentor have higher job satisfaction, with increased promotions and mobility than those without mentors. Mentored faculty are also more productive in obtaining competitive grants, leading professional organizations and publishing in scholarly books and journals.

A separate group of expert nurse program faculty designed the curriculum, which includes:

“The Elsevier Foundation understands the global nursing shortage can’t be successfully addressed without building and retaining the next generation of nurse faculty,” said David Ruth, Executive Director for the Elsevier Foundation. “Transitioning from nursing practice into a faculty role isn’t easy, so we hope our joint effort to expand mentoring programs can go a long way to help new nurse faculty succeed.”