Nursing Education Partnership
Faculty shortages at nursing schools across the country are limiting student capacity at a time when the need for nurses continues to grow. Across the country, the nursing educator shortage is a serious issue that will continue through at least the next decade. Within the next decade the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has found that the shortage will increase by 41 percent to a 1.2 million deficit by 2020. The shortage of nurses with advanced degrees choosing teaching careers in nursing programs is related to budgetary constraints. Recruiting nurse educators is a challenge. Academic institutions generally cannot compete with nonacademic employers in regard to salary schedules. Nursing instructors earn less than practicing nurses, making the position less desirable. Simple economics, therefore, has been a key factor in creating the shortage of nursing educators.
Area patients, health care facilities and prospective students can feel confident that the training provided by Southeastern Illinois College’s nursing programs is top-notch, as the institution’s pass rates on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) continue to exceed both state and nationwide averages each year. Students in both the Practical Nursing (PN) and Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) programs must pass the NCLEX in order to obtain a license. Licensure examination results from testing between June and December 2014 show that 41 of SIC’s 42 PN students earned passing scores – meaning SIC students had a 98 percent pass rate, as opposed to an 86 percent statewide pass rate and 82 percent nationwide rate. The pass rate was even greater for SIC’s ADN program. SIC had a 100 percent pass rate, exceeding the state rate of 84 percent and the national rate of 82 percent. SIC’s ADN program is one of only three active programs in the state to achieve 100 percent pass rates. These pass rates demonstrate the dedication that the nursing faculty have in working to prepare students to achieve success and to be able to enter the workforce as Licensed Practical Nurses and Registered Nurses. It is imperative that we are able to continue to assist in meeting the local, state, and national needs in regard to the nursing workforce shortage. In order to assist in these efforts, it is vital that quality nurse educators are recruited and retained. The participation of the Southeastern Illinois College Foundation is key to the success of the nursing program. This partnership is crucial as together we strive to lessen the impact of the national nursing shortage.