5 Reasons for a Shortage of Nurse Educators WorldWide
October 24, 2020
It is a well-known fact that the world is facing a shortage of nurses. However, the fact that there is also a shortage of academically qualified faculty teaching in nursing schools is also coming to light. This shortage of nursing faculty is due to many factors such as the wrong evaluation of faculty by academic programs, an overall reduction in full-time faculty positions, disincentives, etc.
The state of nursing in Canada, the US, the UK, Australia, and other parts of the world is directly linked to the ability of a country to educate the nursing professionals. In case the shortage of competent nurse educators prevails, a shortage of qualified nursing professionals will never get fulfilled. It has been acknowledged that there is a need for change in direction and method to solve the nursing faculty shortage.
With the help of newly designed education models that will suitably fit the global healthcare needs and create a mutually beneficial collaboration between the nursing schools and faculty members, it is possible to enhance the nursing faculty and meet the global healthcare needs. It is understandable that there is a need for strategies of design and development that end the nursing faculty shortage and expand the global nursing capacity.
Nursing education is directly linked to the ability of nurses to become a credible healthcare professional and nursing education is strengthened only by employing nursing educators. If countries want to keep recruiting more nurses by conducting drives for nurse hiring in Canada and other parts of the world, finding a solution for filling the nurse educator shortage is very important.
In this blog, we will look at the 5 reasons for the worldwide shortage of nurse educators. This will lead to gaining a better understanding of the teaching scenario in the field of nursing.
1. NurseEducators Are Mostly Aged: More often than not, the nurse educators who wish to choose academic career options to have a propensity to take this decision later in their lives. This means that most of the professionals who take the decision of teaching aspiring nurses are the ones who are already in their late fifties. They begin teaching after they are through with their nursing careers.
In addition, the nursing faculty also opts for retirement rather early in their lives and by early we mean the early sixties. The duration for which they are actually teaching and working in the field of academia is very less. The most natural and immediate effect this produces is a shortage of academically trained faculty for teaching classes.
This also means that the nurses do not serve as the faculty members long enough to create and build meaningful communities within their departments, which is a factor that can, in turn, impact the recruitment. To ensure that a comparatively younger and passionate nurse educator staff comes and resumes the academic role is necessary to overcome the problem of nurse educator shortage.
In addition, this is also necessary to enhance the state of nursing in Canada and other developed and developing countries. Aspiring nurses can maximize opportunities with postgraduate courses of nursing leadership and management so that they can serve to explore the career option of becoming a nurse educator early on in their careers.
2. Limited Resources: The nursing institutions have been well aware of the immediate need of hiring competent nursing faculty at the earliest. Even though they have been aware of the nursing faculty shortage for more than a decade now, the institutions of higher education have been structurally unprepared to effectively meet the massive demand for the nurses.
A lack of highly qualified professors is not the only thing, a prevalent lack of important equipment, facilities, and the funding that is needed to hire the new faculty members is the main matter of concern. The fact that the community colleges and the universities are facing a shortage of a sufficient number of faculty members that can teach the students does not let these institutions work to the best of their capabilities.
To ensure that there is no limitation of the resources for the nursing educators, the governments need to take action. Ensuring a tangible solution for this problem will guarantee that nursing educators are given valid reasons to stay in their jobs and teach the students who aspire to become nurses. Not just this, it will also attract more nurses to choose the profession of nursing educators over and over again.
3. Lack of Recognition: Similar to the nursing shortage, nurse educators are being affected by the aging population as has been mentioned above. The thing is that the baby boomer generation stands on the verge of retirement and with that many seem to leave their career in healthcare. Instead, they are now at a place where they rely on healthcare services.
In other words, the nurse educators are needed more than ever before at this moment, but so many of them are getting retired all at once. The point to be noted is that filling in this gap is not even that simple. In order to become a nurse educator, one needs to complete a postgraduate course that makes a nursing professional eligible for becoming a teacher.
In addition, for so many nurses managing the traditional classroom becomes difficult while they are also working as an RN. This can end up becoming a barrier for someone who is actually interested in teaching. More than anything, there is a lack of recognition that nursing education can be a probable and lucrative career choice.
Nurses are mostly known for their selfless nature, but when it comes to careers, they have all the right to shape a successful vocation, and rightly so. Without seeing some practical evidence of the benefits that the professional path of nursing educators can offer, it is difficult to attract nursing candidates. Nursing in Canada and other countries can be enhanced only when nursing educators are given a chance to choose this field.
4. New Career Opportunities Attract More Nurses: In the previous times, relevant professional positions for nurses were pretty limited and the career trajectories were also not very certain. For instance, a nurse who might be working in a hospital might level up the ladder from the position of staff nurse to becoming a manager after many years. However, this is not the same anymore. A nursing degree can open many new doors in the present world.
After completing a postgraduate course in nursing, there are many career opportunities that can be realized. For example; a nurse can actually work with multiple national corporations in the field of Biomedical, an insurance company, a pharmaceutical company, or a hospital administration.
Furthermore, with the advent of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, new and improved specializations are more than likely to come up in the areas of Digital healthcare and Data Science. When these career opportunities are compared with the field of careers in education, nursing students somehow fail to make a conscious choice in the field of nursing education.
The emerging generation of nurses is more aware, enlightened, and full of passion, hope, and desire to make a name for themselves. Amongst the wealth of many new opportunities that are available to the new generation of nurses, the job of nursing educators must be made important and rather recognizable. This can be done by making the job of nursing educators lucrative and beneficial in the long run.
5. Lack of Competitive Salaries: The variety of new opportunities for nursing degrees coupled with a general shortage of nurses produces a natural and strong salary competition over many different nursing sectors.
For the nurses with graduate degrees, it is this competition that allows the nurse educators to get higher salaries than the nurse educators, particularly for the specializations and skill sets that are way higher in demand. Generally, the salary of a nurse practitioner is higher than that of nursing educators.
For this reason, it is natural for the nurses to choose a career path that offers them more money, stability, and long term security. Additionally, given the higher cost of graduate education, the nursing professionals are likely to end up earning way less in case they become a nurse educator as compared to working as a full time registered or a clinical nurse. This has been the scenario for quite some time and now is the time when it calls for an immediate change.
Therefore, regulated efforts are being made to ensure that the nursing educator gets a higher salary. It is being realized that it is only with the assistance of the nursing educators that we can educate and train our future nurses to become successful healthcare professionals. If not more than other nursing professionals then the nursing educators deserve to get paid the same amount as that of the nursing professionals who are either employed in the clinical settings or even the corporate jobs for that matter.
The important thing to realize is that there is a need for a nurse to make a competent clinical nurse. As a nursing student who aspires to become a successful nursing professional, you must have noticed how important it is to have a good teacher.
Becoming a teacher gives you the best way to multiply your skills by investing in the future of nursing and doing something remarkable to help in developing the profession as a whole. If you are an aspiring nurse, it can be a great option to discover the next chapter in your career by looking for a nursing course.