Tina Howard


Henry, Melissa

Committee Member

Aldridge, Michael

Committee Member

Parker, Carlo

Committee Member

King, Linda


College of Natural and Health Sciences, School of Nursing


University of Northern Colorado

Type of Resources


Place of Publication

Greeley, (Colo.)


University of Northern Colorado

Date Created



127 pages

Digital Origin

Born digital


The United States is in a healthcare crisis. There is a substantial shortage of nurses (Buerhaus et al., 2017). Making matters worse is the nurse faculty shortage (Daw et al., 2018). As the population ages and uses more resources, there is a need for even more nurses. The aging population includes nursing faculty. The average age of a nurse faculty member is approximately ten years from retirement (Oermann et al., 2015). The exodus of nurses from the profession adds to the problem because the number of students graduating from nursing school already falls short. The crisis can become catastrophic if there is no focused intervention soon to fulfill the current need. To address the nurse faculty shortage, the aim of this study is to gain a better understanding of nurses’ self-efficacy, outcome expectations, and goals toward the nurse faculty role and address barriers to exploring the role. The social cognitive career theory’s career self-management model guided this study to understand practicing nurses’ career choices. A qualitative, interpretive description design was used to explore advanced degree practicing nurses’ reasons for choosing a career path other than a nurse faculty role. Twelve nurses participated in a semi-structured interview to answer the research questions proposed. Several themes were discovered regarding why they chose their career path. Some significant ideas about the nurse faculty role were ‘experience gives confidence,’ ‘it was a way to give back’, ‘they are not paid enough’, and ‘focused recruiting would be helpful while in school.’ The findings of this study can assist in implementing interventions to help decrease the faculty shortage. The barriers and supports to career advancement reported by the participants were consistent with the social cognitive career theory’s career self-management model. Future studies should focus on doctoral-prepared nurses’ career choices and using a mixed-method design to obtain a holistic view of the phenomenon.

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