Allen College Receives Nurse Educator Grant

July 6, 2012

WATERLOO, Iowa — Allen College Chancellor Dr. Jerry Durham has announced that the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded Allen College a $51,806 Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP) grant.  The purpose of NFLP is to increase the number of qualified nursing faculty to facilitate education of the nurses needed to address the nursing workforce shortage.  The NFLP  provides funding to schools of nursing to support the establishment and operation of a NFLP loan fund.  Participating schools of nursing make loans from the fund to assist registered nurses in completing their graduate education to become qualified nurse faculty.  The program offers partial loan forgiveness for borrowers that graduate and serve as full-time nursing faculty for the prescribed period of time. The loan recipients may cancel 85 percent of the loan over four years in return for serving full time as faculty in any accredited school of nursing.  

According to data from a 2011 survey by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, a total of 1,088 faculty vacancies were identified in a 2011 survey of 603 nursing schools with baccalaureate and/or graduate programs across the country. Besides the vacancies, schools cited the need to create an additional 104 faculty positions to accommodate student demand. The data show a national nurse faculty vacancy rate of 7.7%. Most of the vacancies were faculty positions requiring or preferring a doctoral degree. The top reasons cited by schools having difficulty finding faculty were a limited pool of doctorally-prepared faculty and noncompetitive salaries compared to positions in the practice arena.  Dr. Durham said that the shortage of nursing faculty is likely to worsen as greater numbers of aging nursing faculty members retire over the next decade and competition increases to recruit  master’s and doctorally-prepared nurses for work as expert clinicians.

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