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Is there a shortage of nurse educators?

Yes, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN),  Nursing faculty shortages are limiting student capacity at a time when the need for registered nurses continues to rise.

The AACN’s 2018-2019 Enrollment and Graduations in Baccalaureate and Graduate Programs in Nursing report found that “nursing schools turned away 75,029 qualified applicants from baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs in 2018 due to an insufficient number of faculty, clinical sites, classroom space, clinical preceptors, and budget constraints.”

The AACN cites the following primary reasons for the nurse educator shortage:

  • Faculty age continues to climb, and a wave of retirements is expected over the next 10 years
  • Higher compensation in clinical settings draws candidates away from faculty roles
  • Master’s and doctoral nursing programs are not generating enough candidates for nurse educator programs

The result is that nurse educators are in very high demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 20% increase in employment from 2018-2028, significantly higher than most other types of postsecondary teachers.

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