New Jersey Aims to Increase Nursing Faculty

The state of New Jersey faces a projected shortfall of 23,000 nurses by the year 2030. To address the shortfall, the state hopes to increase the number of nursing graduates from 2,000 a year to 6,000 a year. There are now 300 full-time nursing faculty at colleges and universities in New Jersey. But many more are needed if the state hopes to triple the number of students graduating from nursing programs.

Three years ago, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce Foundation combined in a grant to provide funds for programs to increase the number of full-time nursing faculty at New Jersey universities. Under the program, master’s and doctoral students receive scholarships in return for a commitment to become full-time nursing faculty at universities in the state.

The so-called New Jersey Nursing Initiative is making progress. The foundations report that since the program began, there are 61 students who have obtained or are pursuing graduate degrees in nursing. But this won’t even equal the number of nursing faculty expected to retire over the next five years. The average age for nursing faculty in New Jersey is 55.

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