Major Article 

Association of Faculty Perceptions of Work–Life With Emotional Exhaustion and Intent to Leave Academic Nursing: Report on a National Survey of Nurse Faculty

Michael J. Yedidia, PhD; Jolene Chou, MPH; Susan Brownlee, PhD; Linda Flynn, PhD, RN, FAAN; Christine A. Tanner, PhD, RN, FAAN

Abstract

The current and projected nurse faculty shortage threatens the capacity to educate sufficient numbers of nurses for meeting demand. As part of an initiative to foster strategies for expanding educational capacity, a survey of a nationally representative sample of 3,120 full-time nurse faculty members in 269 schools and programs that offered at least one prelicensure degree program was conducted. Nearly 4 of 10 participants reported high levels of emotional exhaustion, and one third expressed an intent to leave academic nursing within 5 years. Major contributors to burnout were dissatisfaction with workload and perceived inflexibility to balance work and family life. Intent to leave was explained not only by age but by several potentially modifiable aspects of work, including dissatisfaction with workload, salary, and availability of teaching support. Preparing sufficient numbers of nurses to meet future health needs will require addressing those aspects of work–life that undermine faculty teaching capacity. [J Nurs Educ. 2014;53(10):569–579.]

Dr. Yedidia is Professor, Ms. Chou is Senior Research Analyst, and Dr. Brownlee is Senior Research Manager, Rutgers University Center for State Health Policy, New Brunswick, New Jersey; Dr. Flynn is Professor and Associate Dean, Academic Programs, University of Colorado Denver College of Nursing, Aurora, Colorado; and Dr. Tanner is Professor Emerita, Oregon Health & Science University School of Nursing, Portland, Oregon.

This research was funded by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The authors have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.

Address correspondence to Michael J. Yedidia, PhD, Professor, Rutgers University Center for State Health Policy, 112 Paterson Street, 5th Floor, New Brunswick, NJ 08901; e-mail: myedidia@ifh.rutgers.edu.

Received: November 19, 2013
Accepted: August 12, 2014
Posted Online: September 29, 2014

10.3928/01484834-20140922-03

The current and projected nurse faculty shortage threatens the capacity to educate sufficient numbers of nurses for meeting demand. As part of an initiative to foster strategies for expanding educational capacity, a survey of a nationally representative sample of 3,120 full-time nurse faculty members in 269 schools and programs that offered at least one prelicensure degree program was conducted. Nearly 4 of 10 participants reported high levels of emotional exhaustion, and one third expressed an intent to leave academic nursing within 5 years. Major contributors to burnout were dissatisfaction with workload and perceived inflexibility to balance work and family life. Intent to leave was explained not only by age but by several potentially modifiable aspects of work, including dissatisfaction with workload, salary, and availability of teaching support. Preparing sufficient numbers of nurses to meet future health needs will require addressing those aspects of work–life that undermine faculty teaching capacity. [J Nurs Educ. 2014;53(10):569–579.]

Dr. Yedidia is Professor, Ms. Chou is Senior Research Analyst, and Dr. Brownlee is Senior Research Manager, Rutgers University Center for State Health Policy, New Brunswick, New Jersey; Dr. Flynn is Professor and Associate Dean, Academic Programs, University of Colorado Denver College of Nursing, Aurora, Colorado; and Dr. Tanner is Professor Emerita, Oregon Health & Science University School of Nursing, Portland, Oregon.

This research was funded by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The authors have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.

Address correspondence to Michael J. Yedidia, PhD, Professor, Rutgers University Center for State Health Policy, 112 Paterson Street, 5th Floor, New Brunswick, NJ 08901; e-mail: myedidia@ifh.rutgers.edu.

Received: November 19, 2013
Accepted: August 12, 2014
Posted Online: September 29, 2014
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