Utilization of retired physicians as nursing faculty


The nation’s nursing shortage is predicted to worsen, as nurses retire (supply) and more patients have access to care with the full enactment of the Affordable Care Act (demand). Schools of nursing are under continuing pressure to increase enrollment in entry level nursing programs [1-4]. Nurse educators have been engaged in a variety of creative and innovative projects to increase enrollment with some success. A primary reason for the lack of educational capacity is the shortage of nursing faculty [3-7]. The University of Texas Health Science Center-Houston School of Nursing undertook an innovative project to alleviate the nursing faculty shortage at that school. Working with a retired physician group, physician volunteers were solicited to teach in the laboratory portion of an undergraduate health assessment course. Twenty-two physicians volunteered in the first year in a class that involved forty baccalaureate students in their first-semester. The objectives of the project were twofold: First, to determine the suitability of retired physicians to serve as teachers of baccalaureate nursing students and second, ascertain possible monetary savings by using these physicians. Both of these goals were realized. The students valued the physicians’ enthusiasm, wisdom and experience and the cohort of physicians equaled the equivalent of four nursing faculty members. With an average annual faculty salary of $100,000, savings were significant.

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Starck, P. , Liss, S. , Gomez, G. and Speer, M. (2013) Utilization of retired physicians as nursing faculty. Open Journal of Nursing, 3, 481-484. doi: 10.4236/ojn.2013.37065.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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