Why We Became Nurse Educators (Journal Club)

Journal Club Article: Evans, J. D. (2018). Why We Became Nurse Educators: Findings From a Nationwide Survey of Current Nurse Educators. Nursing Education Perspectives39(2), 61-65. [abstract]

Background: The need to build the nurse faculty workforce and resolve the persistent shortage of educators led to a study of nurse educator recruitment and retention. The shortage of nurse educators is a barrier to building the nursing workforce.

Aim: The study was designed to ask teaching nurse faculty what they believed would be effective strategies in the attraction, recruitment, and retention of nurse educators through a sample of national nurse faculty.

Method: This descriptive study used an online survey questionnaire. Participants were recruited through email requests to the deans and directors of 841 accredited associate (ADN), baccalaureate (BSN), master’s, and doctoral degree programs at schools and colleges of nursing across the United States. 940 nurse educators teaching at all levels were asked to rate the effectiveness of attraction, recruitment, and retention strategies.

The survey consisted of demographic questions and three Likert type scales that asked respondents to rate the effectiveness of attraction, recruitment, and retention strategies. Open-ended questions in each section allowed participants to expand on their answers.

This article reports on responses to one of the survey’s open-ended question; a content analysis was conducted to develop a narrative description about why respondents chose nursing education.

Results: Nurse educator’s chose education roles to:

  • teach in a stimulating yet flexible work environment,
  • hoped to influence the profession,
  • had been influenced by educators, and
  • sought change and challenge in their careers.

Conclusion: “Faculty find nursing academia satisfying and rewarding, but noncompetitive compensation and unsatisfactory work environments can eclipse satisfiers.”

Keywords: Healthy Workplace; Nurse Faculty Recruitment; Nurse Faculty Retention; Nurse Faculty Shortage; Nursing Education; Workforce.