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Improving nurse educator retention in associate degree programs
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The nursing profession faces an educator shortage resulting in many programs turning away qualified applicants (AACN, 2021; Keaton, 2021). The purpose of this study was to determine if job satisfaction levels and mentoring satisfaction levels predicted retention (intent-to-remain) among nurse educators teaching in ADN programs.
According to the NLN, 35% of ADN programs and 29% of BSN programs turned away qualified applicants, often due to insufficient faculty (Keaton, 2021). AACN (2022) reported 1,985 faculty vacancies in BSN and higher programs with a national vacancy rate of 8%. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2019) estimated almost 14 thousand new faculty would be needed by 2028. Two factors contributing to the faculty shortage include attrition and retirement, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic (AACN, 2020; Keaton, 2021; NACNEP, 2020). Reasons faculty leave academia include higher salaries in clinical practice (AACN, 2020), high workloads (Arian et al., 2018), work-life imbalance (Flynn & Ironside, 2018), and lack of or ineffective mentoring (Dahlke et al., 2021).
This cross-sectional quantitative study used an online survey of full-time educators (n = 78) at ADN programs in 15 states in the Mountain, Pacific, and West Central regions of the United States. The theoretical framework for this study was Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene theory (Herzberg, 1968). Data were collected between August and October 2018. SPSS version 24 was used to analyze data. Multiple regression analysis showed job satisfaction levels and mentoring satisfaction levels adequately predicted intent-to-remain. Findings indicated the importance of policies and processes to enhance job satisfaction and mentoring satisfaction.
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