The Nurse Faculty Shortage and New Jersey

Is there a nursing workforce shortage?

Absolutely. New Jersey is facing a very real and very serious health care crisis – growing registered nurse and nurse faculty workforce shortages predicted through 2025 – that, in some way, will affect every person and every institution in the state.

Why focus on nurse faculty?

There are not enough faculty to educate all the nurses New Jersey needs to provide quality health care for the state’s residents. As a result, qualified nursing students are being turned away.

With many nursing professors approaching retirement, not enough people in the nurse faculty “pipeline” to replace them, and growing demand for nurses to care for an aging population with chronic conditions, the crisis is likely to worsen in coming years. Without sufficient numbers of nurse faculty at four-year colleges and universities, community colleges and hospital nursing programs to prepare nurse candidates, New Jersey residents will not have the skilled nursing care they will need in the coming decades.

Who does the nurse faculty shortage affect?

Everyone. A nursing workforce shortage will make it impossible for New Jersey’s health care system to meet the health care needs of its residents. Without enough nurses to provide health care, workers will not be able to access the preventive care and other services they need, productivity will be affected, and it will become more difficult for the state to retain businesses and attract new ones. If the nurse and nurse faculty shortages are not reversed, the Garden State’s already struggling economy will suffer even more.

What can be done to fix it?

The New Jersey Nursing Initiative (NJNI) is offering solutions. This multi-year, $30 million project of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the New Jersey Hospital Association/ Health Educational and Research Trust of NJ, is working to transform nursing education in the state. Its goal is to ensure that New Jersey has the well prepared, diverse nursing faculty it needs to educate nurses to meet the demand for health and health care in the 21st century.

NJNI will address the state’s faculty shortage by: developing, implementing and evaluating a statewide model for recruiting and retaining nurse faculty; developing models for nursing curricula to educate new faculty; increasing the number of nurse faculty; and building partnerships among diverse stakeholders to support efforts to increase the registered nursing workforce in the state, so a nurse will be there for you.