Nursing faculty shortage is the focus of a new research project
Apr 2, 2020
Photo above: Dr. Sheila Boamah
Dr. Sheila Boamah is the lead researcher on a new research project, “Exploring Female Faculty Perspectives on Worklife and Strategies for Academic Mentorship.”
She and her colleagues in the School of Nursing, Drs. Nancy Carter and Joanna Pierazzo, have been awarded a grant from MERIT’s Academic Mentorship Research Starter Fund. MERIT stands for McMaster Education Research, Innovation and Theory (MERIT) Program.
“We know that there is a shortage of nursing faculty in Canada,” says Boamah. “Part of this can be explained by the aging workforce. Many of the professors currently at work are nearing retirement. There is also a host of issues including high degree of stress, burnout and instability associated with the work that are not often discussed. We’re supposed to be professional, and mentors to our students. But there have been studies showing a lot of unhappiness among faculty. In this study, we want to look at the work-life experiences of new nursing professors in the first seven years of academia. What are some of the factors that influence their retention? How can we keep new faculty? How can we mentor them?”
The study, which will run for one year, is part of a larger project that will combine qualitative and quantitative research.