Cultivating Adjunct Faculty: Strategies Beyond Orientation

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Abstract

PROBLEM.

Schools of nursing across the country are using adjunct faculty to meet clinical, didactic, and online instructional needs of their nursing programs. While adjunct faculty are vital to the alleviation of the nursing shortage and the shortage of nursing faculty, and to the preparation of the current and future nursing workforce, little is known about cultivating adjunct faculty as nurse educators.

METHOD.

To investigate the cultivation of adjunct nursing faculty, the authors engaged in a comprehensive review of the extant literature of primary databases and reports from accredited nursing programs and professional nursing organizations.

FINDINGS.

Scant literature exists that seeks to identify issues associated with developing adjunct nursing faculty as educators, including role transition needs, and useful approaches to orientation, mentorship, or retention.

CONCLUSIONS.

Working toward cultivation of adjunct faculty includes innovative support measures beyond simple orientation. Orientation should be comprehensive, and move to mentorship as a key component that helps establish a sustainable nurse educator career for adjunct nursing faculty. It is incumbent upon schools of nursing to cultivate their adjunct faculty, and this article includes creative approaches to doing so, with recommendations for nursing education, nursing practice, and nursing research settings. While adjunct faculty may successfully meet some of the challenges faced by nursing programs, they themselves face many challenges that may hinder their success as nurse educators.

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