Nancy Duphily, DNP, RN-BC
From Clinician to Academic: The Impact of Culture on Faculty Retention in Nursing Education
Nancy Duphily, DNP, RN-BC

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Abstract: The US Department of Labor has identified nursing as one of the fastest growing occupations in terms of growth through 2014, when over one million nurses will be needed to fill the nation's health care needs (Monthly Labor Review, 2005). In order to educate these and additional nurses, there need to be enough nursing schools that have competent and qualified nursing faculty to teach. This presents a daunting challenge to existing programs which are currently experiencing a shortage of nursing faculty (Grossman, 2007). Research performed by National League for Nursing (NLN) illustrates that the present scarce population of nursing faculty educators has impacted the level of enrollment into nursing programs. Specifically, more than 74% of schools that are turning away qualified applicants cite the lack of faculty as the major reason (Fang, 2006). With faculty shortages impacting the ability of nursing education programs to meet the national demand for nurses, nurses in practice settings are starting to consider entering the educational arena. A major challenges for the novice educator involves the “disconnect” in the transition from clinician to academic, which includes expertise in daily patient care supervision, skills in leadership as well as collaboration, and a “profound understanding of what it means to learn” (Tanner, 2005, p. 248). How do we prepare, nurture and support this future generation of nurse educators for the challenges ahead? As the rising shortage of nursing faculty continues, knowledge of how this cultural shift from clinician to educator impacts the future faculty roles, should be of major concern to administration (Kowalski, 2007). Does this transition lead to cultural dissonance? Does cultural dissonance lead to conflict in novice nurse faculty as the values they bring from clinical practice affect their transition into nursing education? Can the barriers created by cultural dissonance be lifted through educational, collegial, mentoring and administrative support?

Keywords: Nurse clinicians, nurse educator novice, nursing faculty shortage, faculty mentoring

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