Empowering Nurses at the Bedside and in Business

Nursing Shortage Due to Lack of Faculty


The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) conducted a survey that found that 80,407 qualified applicants were denied spots in the nation’s nursing schools. 

The reason?  The survey cited that it is due to difficulty in obtaining qualified faculty members.  Faculty salaries are much lower than those in clinical nursing practice and, therefore, many nursing schools are just unable to attract qualified faculty. 

The faculty shortage greatly contributes to the shortage of nurses for the simple reason that if there are not enough faculty members, fewer people can be educated and trained to become qualified nurses. 

The AACN also reported that the average salary for a masters-prepared faculty member is $57,454 and the average for an instructor with a doctorate degree is $120,377. 

However, according to a South Carolina news report, the average nurse with a master’s degree earns more than $100,000 while one with a doctorate can earn twice that amount! 

Unfortunately, the non-competitive salaries are the greatest reason why these nursing school faculty positions cannot be filled.  But it is not for lack of people who want to enter the nursing profession. 

Another contributory element to the nursing shortage is that nurses are leaving the profession due to problems in the nursing field. 

Check out the recently released Institute of Medicines (now National Academy of Medicine) Future of Nursing Report.    

What ideas might you have of what we can do to attract and retain qualified nursing faculty members to enhance the overall number of nurses? 

Please let me know your thoughts below. 


  1. Jill O’Hara

    In 2019 I took a position as an LPN instructor. The pay was only $30 per hour and the max number of hours was 24 per week.
    Classroom instruction was great, I really enjoyed it.
    Then came the nursing home experience. It was depressing to say the least. My mom had been in a nursing home for 13 years and the facility was beautiful, the care fantastic. The facility I took students to was dirty, unorganized, staff were outright rude and sometimes nasty to the residents.
    Then it got worse! Our next assignment was our county trauma center. It was a med/surg / telemetry unit. It was dirty, staffing was not an issue as the ratios were 4 patients to 1 nurse. The care was awful! The patient rooms were a mess, clothes tossed in chairs and window sills, bedside tables dirty and cluttered. Patients went for days without bathing. If they didn’t feel like it they were just left alone. Meds were given Willy nilly, procedures done whenever.
    Nurses spent 3/4 of the day in front of the computers. My students were expected to provide quality care and that included the environment. I would round with them before the end of the shift so I could see with my own eyes how the patients were cared for and that included the environment.
    I’d leave daily ready to cry for lack of care the patients received.
    Once the students were allowed back in class and clinicals in the fall I couldn’t go back. From my experience nursing as I knew it is a lost art. The Florence Nightengale model of holistic care was swept under the rug and trampled on

  2. Lisa Foster

    Stop the bullying. I left a reputable and well-known hospital because of this. I have a specialty and was not interested in going back to being a bedside nurse. Going to HR was useless. Most nurses have left because their same hospital hired traveled nurses at 3x the pay. This is was worse during COVID. Now my new hospital is only concerned with hiring PRN. These positions provide no benefits except a 401K.

  3. Uselyn Deary

    Yeah this we faculty salaries need a major market adjustment. The demands can be challenging and the time and effort does not equate the salary. They need to do better. I’ve turned down several education opportunities because of salary. It’s importNt to live what you do but you also have to earn a living

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