Research on Nursing Administrators, Faculty Gives Guidance on Retention

March 1, 2017

Jan Emory, left, and Peggy Lee
Jan Emory, left, and Peggy Lee

Research led by University of Arkansas nursing faculty members identified factors that affect job satisfaction and retention of nursing school administrators and faculty members.

Both studies used data from the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education survey related to job satisfaction and intent to stay. They found, in both cases, that institutional leadership was the most important factor for nursing administrators and nursing faculty who expressed satisfaction with their jobs and planned to stay in them.

The information is important in helping nursing schools to address shortages of bachelor’s degree-prepared nurses, the researchers said.

“We looked at the data for nursing because turnover of directors and deans is so prevalent in nursing education,” said Jan Emory, assistant professor of nursing. “We wanted to learn what institutions can do to attract and retain educators. The support administrators receive from the leadership of their schools was a determining factor for them. Fortunately, these are modifiable work factors that could influence retaining nurse administrators.”

Emory was lead author on the article “Academic Nursing Administrators’ Workplace Satisfaction and Intent to Stay,” published by the journal Nursing Outlook. Peggy Lee, instructor of nursing, was lead author on the article “College Nursing Faculty Job Satisfaction and Retention: A National Perspective” published in the Journal of Professional Nursing. Co-authors on both papers were Michael Miller, dean of the College of Education and Health Professions; Thomas Kippenbrock, professor of nursing; and Chris Rosen, professor of management in the Sam M. Walton College of Business.

Both studies found organization culture, personal and family policies were also important factors for the survey respondents.

“Nurse educators say work-life balance is very important,” Lee said, “and we’re dealing with multi-generations in nursing so for administrators that can be a challenge.

“Money is also definitely a factor,” Lee continued. “But, people want to be recognized, appreciated and supported.”

Young faculty members want to go to a place that has resources and a system in place to support their research, Emory said.

“They don’t necessarily want to trailblaze the way when they are new,” she said.

Emory and Lee said they plan future research specific to Arkansas and surrounding states.

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  • Impact of Diversity on Organization and Career Development

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  • A Differentiated Approach to the Common Core

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  • Teaching Students with Special Needs in Inclusive Settings

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  • The School Choice Journey

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  • American Indian Workforce Education

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