|Meeting addresses strategies to prevent nurse faculty shortage|
The Center for Rural Health and the Dakota Medical Foundation are convening a meeting of nurses Wednesday, Oct. 24, in Fargo to identify ways to prepare, recruit and retain more nurse faculty in North Dakota.
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing indicates that over 32,000 qualified applicants nationwide were not accepted to nursing programs primarily due to an insufficient number of faculty. There are current concerns regarding an adequate nursing faculty workforce in North Dakota. According to a 2003 North Dakota Nursing Needs survey, the average age of nurse faculty members in North Dakota is 51 and almost one-third plan to retire by 2008.
“Recruiting nursing faculty is a significant challenge that we will face as our aging faculty begin to retire,” said Patricia Moulton, principal investigator for the North Dakota Nursing Needs Study and assistant professor at the Center for Rural Health. “By using regional approaches, and acting strategically, we hope to increase the number of nursing faculty at our educational institutions for the future.”
The meeting will focus on efforts to ensure adequate numbers of nursing faculty for nursing education programs. Strategies used in other states to attract more nurses into faculty roles will be discussed as well as approaches to increase retention of current and new nursing faculty.
“We have a high need for nurses in North Dakota and need to be able to prepare every interested and qualified student in order to meet the state’s health care needs now and into the future,” said Mary Wakefield, director of UND’s Center for Rural Health.
The Center for Rural Health received a $35,000 grant from the Dakota Medical Foundation to pursue efforts designed to increase nurse faculty in North Dakota.
Dakota Medical Foundation, Fargo, N.D., focuses its efforts on improving health and access to medical and dental care in the region, with a special emphasis on children. Since 1996, the Foundation has invested over $30 million to over 280 nonprofit organizations in the region. For more information, see www.dakmed.org.
-- Wendy Opsahl, Communications Coordinator, Center for Rural Health, firstname.lastname@example.org, 701-777-0871