Most nursing and medical students are well aware of the shortages in qualified nurses and doctors for hospitals and medical facilities around the country, but many may not realize that there is another shortage going on as well. This shortage is with the educators that are meant to train the next generation of nursing professionals.
The reasons for this shortage are multiple, though certainly interwoven. Perhaps the largest factor in educator shortage is that many of the current nurse educators are older and quickly moving into retirement age. As these older nurses move away from the workforce, few younger nurses are poised to take their places. Over the next ten years, the shortage of nursing educators is estimated to rise substantially unless something is done to combat the trend.
The impact of this shortage could be far reaching and may impact the nursing field for years to come. Fewer teachers means fewer students can be accepted and trained through nursing programs at colleges around the nation. This not only leaves fewer nurses to move into teaching but also fewer nurses to provide hospitals and medical facilities with the personnel they need. With shortages already happening at hospitals all over the U.S., such a shortage could be catastrophic.
Luckily, there are ways that you can help contribute to ending this nursing shortage. Students and current nurses who are willing to take the time and coursework required to get a higher degree in nursing (usually a Masters) will find numerous resources available to them to aid them in their studies and their careers, especially as the shortage increases. While faculty positions often pay less and require additional work than traditional nursing positions, they can provide some great rewards as well as teachers get the satisfaction of improving their profession.
As a student or a nurse you should be concerned about the shortage of nursing educators out there. Whether you choose to work as a teacher yourself or encourage others who you think would be well-suited for a career as a professor to do so, there are numerous ways to do your part to help ensure that the next generation of nurses will have the training and preparation they need.