NOVEMBER 2016 – Motion Adopted by CASN Council Related to the Faculty Shortage

CASN members passed the following motion at the CASN Council Meeting in November 2016:

THAT CASN develop and advocate a national strategy to address the faculty shortage and issues related to sustainability in academic nursing programs.

In 2015, the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (CASN) projected a widespread nursing faculty shortage across Canada. This was based on analyses of longitudinal data collected in the CASN Faculty and Student Survey. The data in the 2016 survey supported these projections, and indeed indicated a worsening of the shortage over the next five years. A shortage of qualified professors has the potential to affect both the progress of the profession resulting from less research and scholarly activities, and the pool of qualified Registered Nurses graduating from degree programs who are eligible to enter the nursing workforce.

Actions taken by CASN to date towards the development and advocacy of a national strategy to address the faculty shortage in 2017 include heightening awareness of the issue among stakeholders through research, publication, and active dissemination of findings; identifying and disseminating strategies to address the faculty shortage; and developing initiatives to support an increase of potential faculty.

These include the following initiatives:

  • Sponsorship of a project to develop improved forecasting models for demand and supply of nursing faculty (2016-2017).
  • Sponsorship and participation in a research project to identify strategies currently being used by Schools of Nursing to address a faculty shortage. The results were published in 2017 {See: Vandyk, A., Chartrand, J., Beké, É, Burlock, L., Baker, C. (2017) Perspectives from Academic Leaders of the Nursing Faculty Shortage in Canada. International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship 14(1).}, and are being vigorously disseminated by the CASN communication team.
  • Development and implementation of a continuing education course related to mentoring and supervising graduate students as an initiative to support an increase in the supply of potential faculty.
  • Continued data collection and dissemination on students and faculty in nursing education in Canada to increase awareness and to support advocacy related to the faculty shortage
  • Use of the data in the Student and Faculty Survey reports, and the forecasting model, to present on the worsening faculty shortage at national and international conferences as well as making the power points widely available for faculty to use for advocacy purposes within their institutions:
    • Canadian Health Workforce Conference (Who will educate the next generation of nurses in Canada)
    • GANES Conference – Miami 2017 (Who will educate the next generation of nurses in Canada)
    • ICN 2017 – Barcelona, Spain (Who will educate the next generation of nurses in Canada)
    • CASN Council 2017
  • Scanning for and disseminating publications regarding the faculty shortage such as the following:
    • Tourangeau, A. E., Wong, M., Saari, M., & Patterson, E. (in press). Generation specific incentives and disincentives for nurse faculty to remain employed. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 22, 1015-1026.
    • Tourangeau, A., Saari, M., Patterson, E., Ferron, E. M., Thomson, H., Widger, K., & MacMillan, K. (2014). Work, work environments and other factors influencing nurse faculty intention to remain employed: A cross-sectional study. Nurse Education Today, 34(6), 940-947.
    • Tourangeau, A. E., Thomson, H., Saari, M., Widger, K., Ferron, E. M., & MacMillan, K. (2012). Determinants of nurse faculty intention to remain employed. Open Journal of Nursing, 2, 254-261.

The CASN Board of Directors is currently reviewing further strategies for moving forward and this will be reported on in March, 2018.