National League for Nursing Releases Faculty Census Data

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NLN study gauging size and characteristics of the nurse educator population confirms reported trends of aging nurse faculty workforce and inequities in faculty salary.

Research continues to point to increasing nurse faculty shortages in years to come, according to data released today by the NLN. The percentage of faculty ages 30 to 45 and ages 46 to 60 both dropped by 3 percent between 2006 and 2009. At the same time the percentage of full-time educators over age 60 grew dramatically from only 9 percent in 2006 to nearly 16 percent in 2009. Overall, fifty-seven percent of part-time educators and nearly 76 percent of full-timers were over the age of 45 in 2009.

"Adding to the difficulty of addressing the ongoing national shortage of nurse educators that will worsen as the workforce ages," said NLN CEO Dr. Beverly Malone, "is the fact that salaries of nurse educators remained notably below those earned by similarly ranked faculty across higher education." The NLN Faculty Census shows that in 2009, this was true at almost every rank. At the professor rank, nurse educators suffer the largest deficit with salaries averaging 45 percent lower than those of their non-nurse colleagues. Associate and assistant nursing professors were also at a disadvantage, earning 19 and 15 percent less than similarly ranked faculty in other fields. Those employed as nursing instructors experienced the only advantage, with salaries averaging 8 percent higher than those of non-nurses.

As the only nursing organization that collects data on all nursing education programs in the USA and its territories, the National League for Nursing is uniquely positioned to measure the critical impact of nursing education on the supply of RNs. "This study, which measures demographic characteristics, distribution by rank, credential, and program type, and the number of vacant positions," explained NLN president Dr. Cathleen Shultz, "collects statistics that are vital for public policy decisions affecting health care."

The Faculty Census was administered as a subsection of the Spring 2009 Annual Survey of Schools of Nursing. Responses were accepted between May and September 2009 and data reflect the nurse educator population as of February 2009. A comprehensive set of tables and figures is available in a variety of easy-to-use electronic formats at the NLN DataView™ website (http://www.nln.org/research/slides). In addition, the entire Nursing Data Review is available, at no cost, in pdf format at NLN DataView. Visit http://www.nln.org/research/slides for a comprehensive set of tables and figures in a variety of easy-to-use electronic formats at the website and for the Executive Summary.

Editors and reporters: For interview opportunities, please contact NLN chief communications officer, Karen R. Klestzick, at 212-812-0376.

Dedicated to excellence in nursing, the National League for Nursing is the premier organization for nurse faculty and leaders in nursing education. The NLN offers faculty development, networking opportunities, testing services, nursing research grants, and public policy initiatives to its 32,000 individual and 1,200 institutional members who represent all types of nursing education programs.

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KAREN KLESTZICK

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