Document Type


Publication Date


Date of Final Presentation


Committee Chair

Dr. Teresa Serratt

Committee Member

Dr. Sara Ahten

Coordinator/ Chair of DNP Program

Dr. Pamela Strohfus

Abstract/ Executive Summary


The U.S. is facing a critical shortage of nurses as the aging baby boomer generation is requiring more nursing care. Contributing to the nursing shortage is the inability to educate larger numbers of nurses, attributable to a lack of nursing faculty. Insufficient numbers of nursing faculty results in qualified applicants being turned away from nursing programs.

Project Design

This project evaluated faculty job satisfaction in 703 accredited Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) programs in the U.S. The Index of Work Satisfaction (IWS) (Stamps, 1997), was designed to measure specific factors of nurses' job satisfaction and was emailed to all full and part time ADN faculty (n=9,402) with email addresses identified on their institution's website.


The survey response rate was 26.3% (n=2,479). The IWS analysis included two parts. Part A data were examined for the frequency of each component then the raw count was converted to a percentage of the whole sample. 1,115 of 1,1748 respondents (64.56%) indicated that the component Autonomy was more important than pay. Autonomy was also considered more important than task requirements (83.33%), organizational policies (80.78%), professional status (84.33%) and interaction (82.88%).

The analysis of Part B assigned scores as unweighted estimates of the level of satisfaction. A score was assigned to each component on a scale ranging from 5-70, with 5-25 representing the first quartile, indicating dissatisfaction and the 4th quartile, represented by the range of 28-70, indicating satisfaction. The three components of least satisfaction were salary (19.22), interactions between faculty and administrators (23.85) and task requirements (24.16), while the components of greatest satisfaction were interactions (49.56), professional status (41.46 and the autonomy afforded by the position (38.76).


The findings in Part A of the IWS suggest that autonomy is valued higher than all other components, including salary. Program directors should consider providing nursing faculty with as much control as possible regarding scheduling, flex-hours and decision making. In Part B of the IWS, Interactions was a top component of job satisfaction; however, when analyzed by faculty-faculty interactions and faculty-administrator interactions, the latter component was the second highest area of job dissatisfaction. This suggests that program directors should focus on improving relationships between administration and faculty members in order to increase faculty's organizational commitment. When considering Task Requirements, administrators may be able to adjust or reallocate tasks, since frequently taking work home decreases the likelihood of retention (Bittner & O'Connor, 2012). These areas of least satisfaction for ADN faculty need to be addressed in order to have a positive effect in recruiting and retaining ADN faculty.


The findings from this survey are congruent with similar findings from studies conducted with baccalaureate and graduate nursing faculty (Derby-Davis, 2014; Evans, 2013; Roughton, 2013). The nursing faculty shortage is a symptom of a pervasive nursing deficit. The three factors that are the least satisfying to ADN faculty are salary, task requirements and organizational policies. These must be addressed by program directors as the profession seeks to address factors contributing to the nursing shortage.