Nationwide there is a demand for nursing faculty and researchers prepared at the doctoral level. The demand for primary care, prevention, and managed care is driving the nation's need for more nurse practitioners and other registered nurses with advanced practice skills (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2003).
By 2020, the U.S. federal government estimates that there will be 1 million fewer nurses than needed. Exacerbating the already dire nationwide nurse shortage, tens of thousands of qualified nursing school applicants are turned away annually because there are not enough nursing faculty to teach them.
The availability of nurses prepared at the doctoral level to assume faculty positions is a chronic problem, especially for nursing programs located in rural areas. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing reports that there is an 8% vacancy rate in nursing faculty positions. In addition, hundreds of nursing faculty are expected to retire annually between now and 2015.
By earning your doctoral degree in nursing, you will be prepared to assume a position as a nurse scientist in either an academic setting or many other settings which engage in research. You will be well prepared to develop new knowledge for the discipline, with a particular emphasis on research with rural populations and rural health issues.
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