Developing Nursing Faculty

According to AACN’s report on 2010-2011 Enrollment and Graduations in Baccalaureate and Graduate Programs in Nursing, U.S. nursing schools turned away 67,563 qualified applicants from baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs in 2010 due to an insufficient number of faculty, clinical sites, classroom space, clinical preceptors, and budget constraints. Almost two-thirds of the nursing schools responding to the survey pointed to faculty shortages as a reason for not accepting all qualified applicants into entry-level baccalaureate programs.

Released in October 2010, the Institute of Medicine’s report on The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health advocates for a doubling of the number of nurses in the U.S. with doctoral degrees. The limited supply of nurses with doctorates has had a significant impact on the ability of nursing schools to educate sufficient numbers of professionals needed to engage in the highest level of practice, research, and scholarship. Less than one percent of the nation’s nurses hold the doctoral degree, and the majority of those with doctorates (53.7%) have acquired degrees in fields other than nursing. 

The Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholar Program was created in 2008 to support educational development of new nursing faculty and stimulate models for joint faculty appointments between schools of nursing and clinical affiliates. 

Improving Veterans' Healthcare

With 22.2 million veterans living in the U.S. – a number that will continue to climb when an estimated 39,000 more troops return home from Iraq this year – there is an urgent need to reassess and continue to improve upon veterans’ healthcare. Upon returning home, veterans face an alarming number of unique healthcare challenges that include some sobering statistics:

  • A new study by the Center for a New American Security shows an alarming increase in suicide risk among veterans: one US veteran of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan attempts suicide every 80 minutes, with 1,868 attempts in 2009 alone;
  • 1 out of 5 Gulf War Veterans suffer from depression, anxiety, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); and
  • Almost 90% of troops are attacked or ambushed while in combat and 65% witness death or serious injury of comrades.

Equally troubling are the results of a 2008 RAND study which revealed that 37% of mental health professionals felt unprepared to help veterans with reintegration issues. Currently, our healthcare workforce is not adequately prepared to help veterans adapt to their reintegration and the unique challenges they face, both physically and emotionally.

The Jonas Center’s vision and intent is to help improve the healthcare of US veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan by supporting doctoral level (PhD and DNP) education advancement of nurses who will be involved in all levels of veterans’ healthcare, from administration and policy to direct patient care.