Friday, 2 January 2015

What determines whether or not nursing faculty stay?

Roger Watson, Editor-in-Chief

There is a worldwide shortage of nursing academics (‘faculty’ in North American terminology). Our detractors may say there are already too many but, of course, faculty are required to teach future generations of nurses and provide the evidence—along with practitioners—for best practice. The number of faculty compared with those registered and in practice is very small in any case and, in fact, a great many faculty make a significant contribution to practice. However, there are insufficient people wanting to take academic jobs and many who do are inadequately prepared for the task. So, the issue arises of how to keep faculty and what do they say as the factors that push them out of academia and those which attract them to stay. Remarkably, the answer is not money as an article from Canada by Tourangeau et al. (2014) titled ‘Generation-specific incentives and disincentives fornurse faculty to remain employed’ and published in JAN shows.

The article by Tourangeau et al. (2014) reveals some generational differences in what motivates and repels faculty but there is a general pattern related to have manageable workloads and supportive environments—specifically deans—which must ‘ring a bell’ with most of us. Unlike other university subjects, nursing is often taught across three ‘semesters’ with additional expectations of clinical supervision and professional requirements not expected of many others. The expectations regarding administrative roles, research income generation and publication remain the same. The situation requires investigation and solutions and, as the authors conclude: ‘the findings of this study may be used to develop and test generation-specific retention-promotion strategies.’


Tourangeau AE, Wong M, Saari M, Patterson E (2014) Generation-specific incentives and disincentives for nurse faculty toremain employed Journal of Advanced Nursing doi: 10.1111/jan.12582

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