DAN White Paper

Faculty shortages at nursing schools across the country are limiting student capacity at a time when the need for nurses continues to grow. Budget constraints, an aging faculty, and increasing job competition from clinical sites have contributed to this emerging crisis. The decline in the number of doctorally-prepared nursing faculty is hampering efforts to adequately address the nation’s overall shortage of nurses. The 2011 Institute of Medicine Report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health recommended that nurses achieve higher levels of education to respond more effectively to the demands of an evolving health care system and the changing needs of patients. Specifically, this report recommended doubling the number of nurses with a doctoral degree by 2020 “to add to the cadre of nurse faculty and researchers, with attention to increasing diversity.” As stewards of the profession, more doctorally-prepared nurses are needed to serve as role models, mentors, teachers, and leaders responsible for shaping how nurses are educated and how they practice.