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  • Writer's pictureMary Jane Genuino

The Impact and Rewards of Being a Nurse Faculty

In recent years, the healthcare industry has experienced a significant shortage of nursing faculty. This poses an additional challenge to the already problematic nursing workforce crisis. Many experienced nursing faculty are reaching retirement age, creating a gap that is challenging to fill. With the increasing demand for nursing education, the shortage is exacerbated by the lack of new faculty members to replace those who are leaving. According to a report published by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) in 2022 [1], the demand for nursing faculty continues to outpace the available supply. It does not help that nursing faculty salaries often do not match those offered in clinical settings, which becomes a deterrent for bedside nurses who would like to switch to academia.

In considering a career in nursing, most graduates often think of bedside care as the primary option. However, for those who have clinical experience, there is another fulfilling and rewarding path available: working as a nurse faculty. One notable advantage of being a nurse faculty member is the flexibility in work hours. Unlike the demanding and often unpredictable schedule of bedside nursing, nurse faculty typically work fewer than 40 hours a week. Another perk of working in academia is the availability of extended breaks. Similar to an academic calendar, nurse faculty often have summers and winter breaks off, providing valuable time for relaxation, rejuvenation, and personal development. These breaks allow faculty members to recharge their batteries, engage in continuing education, or even take on additional professional projects. There is an emphasis on continuous professional development as well. As educators, nurse faculty are encouraged and supported in staying up-to-date with the latest advancements in nursing practice, research, and education.

Unlike bedside nurses who often must work during holidays in challenging weather conditions, nursing faculty members enjoy the option of meeting with their class remotely via teleconferencing when needed. By working fewer hours per week and per annum, the hourly rate can be more favorable when calculated. This arrangement provides an opportunity for nurse faculty to strike a balance between financial stability and having more time for personal pursuits or other opportunities, if desired.

Beyond the advantages related to work hours and breaks, working as a nurse faculty offers immense professional fulfillment. Educating and mentoring aspiring nurses allows faculty members to make a lasting impact on the future of healthcare and the nursing profession. The opportunity to shape the knowledge and skills of new generations of nurses is a rewarding experience that goes beyond monetary compensation.

Reference:

[1] American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2022). Nursing Faculty Shortage Fact Sheet.


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