PORTLAND, ORE. – According to a new report released today by the Oregon Center for Nursing (OCN), approximately one half of Oregon’s 720 nursing educators intend to retire within the next 10 years.
The new report, “Oregon’s Nurse Faculty Workforce: 2014 Update,” shows this retirement trend is mostly due to an aging workforce. More than 53 percent of people who teach nursing at Oregon’s nursing programs are over 55 years old. The wave of retirements will reach a peak within the next five years when three out of ten nursing faculty plan to retire.
“This report contains both good and bad news for Oregon’s nursing programs,” said OCN Executive Director Jana R. Bitton. “On the good news side, Oregon’s schools have managed to recruit a number of new faculty in recent years, and the overall satisfaction of faculty continues to grow. The bad news is replacing those educators who retire will not be easy.”
Some of the challenges to recruiting new faculty are comparatively lower salaries, the high cost of education for faculty positions, alternative career choices, and limited resources to hire new nurse educators.
OCN has been studying the faculty at Oregon’s nursing programs since 2008. “Oregon’s Nurse Faculty Workforce: 2014 Update” is the third in a series of reports providing a comprehensive description of Oregon’s nurse faculty. In addition to retirement plans, the report also describes educators’ satisfaction with their jobs, and issues affecting recruitment and retention of new faculty. The report provides more in-depth analysis of some of the issues raised in the OCN infographic “Oregon’s Nurse Faculty Challenges” released in May 2015.
OCN is a nonprofit organization created by nursing leaders in 2002. OCN facilitates research and collaboration for Oregon’s nursing workforce to support informed, well-prepared, diverse and exceptional nursing professionals. Recognized by the Oregon state legislature as a state advisory for nursing workforce issues, OCN fulfills its mission through nurse workforce research, building partnerships, and advocating for nursing and healthcare. For more information about OCN, please visit www.oregoncenterfornursing.org.
Jana R. Bitton, MPA