Actions to address the lack of Nursing and Allied Health Faculty:
1a. The Virginia State Legislature must insure the compensation of Nursing and Allied Health faculty is competitive to attract and retain qualified professionals.
1b. The Virginia State Legislature must revise the funding allocation formula that does not adequately fund public educational institutions that offer Nursing and Allied Health programs. Funding for the Nursing and Allied Health programs must represent the true costs of providing these programs.
1c. Education and Health care institutions in Northern Virginia must partner with industry to increase the number of Nursing and Allied Health Faculty. This alliance will:
- Create “Dual appointments” of health care employees as faculty in educational institutions. Such dual appointed faculty would receive a competitive compensation by a formula based on the educational institutions paying their official faculty rate and the health care institutions paying the incremental difference between the normal faculty salary and the industry’s competitive compensation standard. These dual-appointment faculty members would be employees of both the educational institutions and health care institutions. They would be twelve (12) month employees of the health care institution vs. the standard nine (9) month faculty contract of an educational institution. When these faculty members are not instructing, they would be part of the health care institution’s staff. (Note: this would not be attractive for all faculty members since many desire nine-month employments vs. twelve-month employment)
- Provide the opportunity for sabbaticals to health care institution employees to obtain appropriate degrees to be qualified to be Nursing or Allied Health faculty. This would help alleviate the high “burnout” rate among health care workers.
- Industry (not only the health care industry) should endow chairs for faculty at the associate, masters and doctoral degree level. Industry has a vested interest. Northern Virginia industries involved in IT could endow chairs in Health Information Management. Endowments fro m manufacturers of health care equipment should support “chairs” in Respiratory Therapy, Radiology Technology, Nursing, Medical Laboratory Technicians and/or Technologists etc. The incentive for industry to endow a chair would be for them to use this as a marketing, tax and public relations instrument.
1d. Educational institutions must develop “fast track” educational pathways, in the health care professions to the bachelor, master and doctorate levels, which are:
- Geared to the working adult.
- Have better and easier articulation between degree levels.
- Provide a mechanism which allows for credit from other educational and work experiences.
1e. Educational, health care, civic and social service institutions must collaborate to identify promising minority and new Americans to “groom” them early to be faculty through well-defined and financed career paths that couple appropriate academic and professional experiences.
1f. Educational institutions must become more attractive to adjunct faculty by:
- Providing competitive compensation. Health care professionals can realize higher monetary rewards by working part time in their profession vs. being part time faculty.
- Compensating for class preparation and administration (grading, etc)
- Greater use of distance learning technology will be attractive for recruiting adjunct faculty.
- Aggressively target Nursing and Allied Health retirees to become adjunct faculty members.
1g. Educational institutions must be able to:
-Benchmark faculty compensation in accordance with prevailing industry compensation standards. (This would necessitate differential salaries for faculty in highly competitive disciplines such as Nursing and Allied Health.)
- Dedicate more resources to recruitment and marketing.
- Streamline the application procedure and time required for hiring.
- Simplify and modernize the compensation methodology used to determine a new faculty member’s salary.
- Provide greater flexibility for faculty contracts (i.e.: semester, nine-month, twelve-month etc.)
1h. Target retired military health care professionals. (There is already an established program to recruit separating and retired military personnel into primary and secondary schools.)
- Dedicate resources to recruitment and marketing.
- Develop fast track programs to develop them as educators/distance educators.
- Provide flexible schedules and compensation packages.
- Target active duty health care military to become adjuncts. This would serve as a transitional catalyst prior to their retirement. Active duty military could be distant learning adjunct faculty even when overseas.
- Target retired military especially as distance learning faculty. This would provide them with the flexibility to reside anywhere (not just the Metro DC area) and flexible hours.