Nursing Faculty Shortage

There is a documented dearth of qualified nursing faculty, particularly those who are culturally, ethnically, and gender diverse. The lack of nursing faculty is an issue of local and national concern. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)’s 2016-2017 annual survey, U.S. nursing schools had to turn away 64,067 qualified applicants to baccalaureate and graduate degrees in 2016 due to insufficient resources. Almost Two-thirds of the schools who responded noted faculty shortages to be a main reason for not accepting applicants. They also reported 1,567 faculty vacancies across 821 nursing schools, with a need to create an additional 133 faculty positions to accommodate students (AACN, 2017). The 2017-2018 AACN Policy Brief shows that the current nursing faculty demographics do not match the students demographics either. In 2016, the percent of diverse nursing students nationwide was 29.5%, while nursing faculty lagged behind at 15.9%. This difference was the smallest gap in diversity between students and faculty members in over a decade, showing progress, but still a severe difference (AACN, 2017).

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