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Shortage of nurses and nursing teachers


POSTED: Tuesday, September 3, 2013 - 6:21pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, September 3, 2013 - 6:33pm

College classes are back in session and once again nursing is one of the most popular fields to study.

But, with the growing demand of students interested in this line of work the supply of professors is low.

There are about 3 million nurses in the U.S. according to reports.

And the interest in this line of work is growing.

Nursing programs are compacted across the country.

And the number of faculty members are limited.

"They're turning away almost 76,000 nurses a year across the United States because of lack of faculty in the colleges. So if that continues and nursing shortage continues, it's a compounding problem that is only going to get worse," said Laurie Hartwig with Trinity Mother Frances.

The nursing program at the University of Texas at Tyler is very competitive.

They receive about 500 applicants every year and 90% of their students graduate with a job already lined up.

But, they can only accept about 400, because they have a limited number of teachers.

The dean of the program says that more and more college professors are encouraging their students to pursue a career in nursing education.

"This is a great part of being a nurse. You can bring back so much to people who come up behind you and think about what it was like when you were a student and what you can share with other people," said UT Tyler interim College of Nursing Dean Pam Martin.

But, nurse practitioners make about $91,000 a year, while professors make about 70 plus a couple year's of extra schooling. 

TJC School of Nursing dean Paul Monagan says you have to have a love for teaching to take this route.

"When they get through their BSN then they may choose to go the clinical track or the education track," said Monagan.

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