In recent years, the shortage of academically qualified faculty available to teach in schools of nursing has taken center stage due to the realization that it is directly related to the deficiency of nurses in health care organizations (Nardi & Gyurko, 2013). The shortage of nurse faculty is also related to poor patient outcomes in healthcare settings as the supply of nurses from schools of nursing is unable to meet demand (Allen, 2008). This paper evaluates a peer-reviewed research article with the view to understanding turnover-related nurse faculty shortage.
The article, titled “Nursing Faculty Characteristics and Perceptions Predicting Intent to Leave”, uses a quantitative research approach and a descriptive research design with the view to identifying attributes and perceptions of nurse faculty members that serve to forecast their intent to leave their faculty positions in various states across the United States (Roughton, 2013). A survey data collection technique is used to gather information from 4,118 nurse faculty teaching in pre-licensure and graduate nursing education programs, with available documentation demonstrating that the data are in turn analyzed using quantitative models and approaches to identify the characteristics and perceptions that can be used to predict nurse faculty turnover in selected research settings. Findings indicate that some of the most important characteristics and perceptions of nurse faculty that predict intention to leave include lack of job tenure, incapacity to attract funding for one’s teaching position, less job satisfaction, lack of opportunities to use skills and abilities, lack of work variety, increased age of current faculty, incompatible institutional culture, lack of better relationships with colleagues, a promise of better compensation elsewhere, lack of flexibility to balance work and life issues, as well as lack of career development opportunities.
Drawing from this exposition, it is clear that the study has many strong points and several weaknesses. In terms of strengths, the study has made good use of the quantitative research approach and other statistical models associated with quantitative research to demonstrate a relationship between nurse faculty shortage and some of the factors that are known to trigger turnover intentions. Available literature demonstrates that quantitative research studies can achieve optimal outcomes in establishing relationships between independent and dependent variables (Creswell, 2008). The second strength concerns the fact that the author has consulted credible and reputable sources to discuss and analyze the literature on nurse faculty shortage and turnover intentions. Most of the sources used by the author are up-to-date, implying that the analysis is convincing and reflects contemporary trends on the issue of nurse faculty shortage.
Third, the findings made by the researcher are consistent with what other authors have put forward regarding the broad and important topic of nurse faculty shortage. For example, Allen (2008) argues that the main justifications for the lack of nurse faculty to meet the rising demand for more nursing professionals include increased age of the current nurse faculty, lack of work variety, and absence of sustainable remuneration packages. Other factors cited by the author include increased faculty retirements, lack of job tenure, insufficient nurse faculty with master’s or doctoral level education, and dissatisfaction with the job. On their part, Nardi and Gyurko (2013) highlight an aging faculty, decreased job satisfaction, poor remuneration, and lack of funding as some of the most important factors that continue to trigger the problem of nurse faculty shortage in most healthcare systems across the world. Most of these factors have been identified in the study by Roughton (2013), implying that the findings are credible and trustworthy.
Among the weaknesses, it is evident that the research study utilizes a small sample size compared to the total population of nurse faculty nationwide, resulting in a challenge of limiting the generalizability of the study’s results and findings across settings (Roughton, 2013). The study also fails to discuss its findings and compare them with the knowledge that has been accrued from the review of relevant literature. Lastly, procedures for data collection and how ethical approval was obtained have not been included in the study.
Contribution to Practice/Profession
The study makes an immense contribution to nursing practice by identifying factors that are closely associated with nurse faculty members’ intent to leave their faculty positions in most schools of nursing nationally (Roughton, 2013). The knowledge of these factors is important in addressing the issue of nurse faculty shortage and also in dealing with other related issues such as shortage of nursing professionals, poor healthcare outcomes in healthcare institutions, and low levels of patient satisfaction. The factors identified should be addressed by (1) establishing a mentor-protégé program, (2) creating a marketing campaign for academic nursing careers, (3) exploring, piloting, and evaluating tenure alternatives, (4) offering higher salaries/benefits and tuition for a work commitment, (5) examining faculty roles and establishing best practices for teaching, and (6) providing comprehensive professional development programs (Roughton, 2013).
This paper has evaluated a peer-reviewed nursing article with the view to understanding turnover-related nurse faculty shortage. Overall, it should be the duty of policymakers in the health sector and other relevant stakeholders to implement the recommendations made to positively address the characteristics and perceptions of nurse faculty members that serve to forecast their intentions to leave their faculty positions.
Allen, L. (2008). The nursing shortage continues as faculty shortage grows. Nursing Economic$, 26(1), 35-40.
Creswell, J.W. (2008). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.
Nardi, D.A., & Gyurko, C.C. (2013). The global nursing faculty shortage: Status and solutions for change. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 45(3), 317-326.
Roughton, S.E. (2013). Nursing faculty characteristics and perceptions predicting intent to leave. Nursing Education Perspectives, 34(4), 217-225.