The nursing workforce in the United States is on the verge of one of the most significant nursing shortages our country has ever experienced in modern times. The economic recession that began in the latter part of this decade has slowed the rise in nursing shortage numbers due to nurses either choosing to postpone retirement or returning to the work- force. However, this is considered to be only a temporary abatement of the impending shortage. It has been estimated that by the year 2025 the U.S. health care system will have a shortage of approximately 260,000 nurses (Buerhaus, Auerbach, & Staiger, 2009). The primary reason for the projected shortage of nurses is the aging of the nursing workforce leading to large numbers of retirements. However, it must be acknowl- edged that nurses also leave the profession due to dissatisfaction with the work environment, thus compounding the shortage issue.
Historically, the role of the nurse educator can be traced back to Florence Nightingale, who has been identified as the “founder of modern nursing” and the “ultimate nurse educator” (Bastable, 2003, p. 4).
Academic nurse educators engage in a number of roles and functions, each of which reflects the core competencies of nursing faculty. Those competencies include the following: 1) facilitate learning, 2) facilitate learner development and socialization, 3) use assessment and evaluation strategies, 4) participate in curriculum design and evaluation of program…