Indiana University of Pennsylvania is launching a program that may help relieve the nursing shortage. IUP will offer a Ph.D for nurses who want to teach. The program may begin this fall.
The American Assocation of Colleges of Nurses says a nursing shortage is partly due to a lack of educators. Thirty-two thousand students were turned away last year because nursing programs were filled to capacity. Meanwhile, colleges are struggling to find faculty. IUP has eight vacancies in its nursing school.
IUP Associate Professor Lisa Palmer says Ph.D nursing programs aren't rare, but they're small. In the past, Ph.D candidates were hard to recruit. That's not true anymore; Palmer says 100 applicants now might compete for only 10 spots.
Unlike some other graduate programs, Ph.D nursing students need practical experience first. Palmer says nurses usually have to spend one or two years working before getting a master's degree. Then nurses usually get more experience before going back for a doctorate.