Research Findings and Tools
In addition to administering the grantmaking process and providing technical assistance and monitoring to grantees, EIN is also a research-driven organization. The EIN team has worked with leaders in nursing education and research to develop two program-wide measures which grantees will incorporate in their data collection and analyses: 1) a student self-assessment of the breadth of nursing education and 2) a tool to estimate the marginal costs of implementing interventions. In addition, the NPO has been awarded a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to conduct a national study of nurse faculty through a survey of a representative sample of facultty members throughout the country. The purpose of the survey is to provide EIN-supported programs, as well as the broader academic nursing community, with measures on factors associated with faculty retention and recruitment.
National Survey of Nurse Faculty
- How do nurse faculty members spend their time?
- How do they assess key aspects of their work-life?
Click here to create customized findings from the 2011 national survey of full-time nurse faculty members.
Choose from over 60 characteristics of workload and attitudes toward work-life and explore how they differ among faculty subgroups of interest to you. Data were collected from a nationally representative sample of full-time faculty members teaching in nursing schools that offer at least one degree program that prepares graduates to sit for the licensure exam. The study was conducted by staff at the EIN National Program Office and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
The survey fieldwork began in fall 2010 and concluded in spring 2011. More than 3000 nurse faculty members employed at over 300 prelicensure nursing education institutions—randomly selected to be nationally representative by program type (ADN and BSN)—responded to the survey, achieving an overall response rate of 79 percent. Domains of questionnaire items in the survey included characteristics of faculty workload, opportunities for professional development, satisfaction with aspects of the faculty role, levels of job stress and burnout (and underlying causes), terms of work (e.g., salary, tenure status) and intent to stay in academic nursing. Items and measures were drawn from prior studies (e.g., NLN and NLN-Carnegie faculty surveys) whenever possible.
This study examines the current status of the nation’s nursing schools with regard to factors contributing to the faculty shortage, yielding a baseline snapshot that can potentially help guide and assess the progress of national efforts to improve the work-life and retention of nurse faculty. In contrast with similar initiatives that provide useful school-level measures, this study surveyed a representative sample of individual faculty members, and identified faculty-level attributes which can be used by nursing programs around the country to compare their faculty, for example, to those at institutions with similar attributes.
Student Self-Assessment of the Breadth of Nursing Education
The NPO has designed and tested — with input from the National Advisory Committee and other national leaders in nursing education — a measure assessing breadth of education based on self-appraisals of students. Use of the measure by all programs associated with EIN is intended to assure that the interventions do not have an adverse impact on educational breadth. For example, interventions relying upon an enhanced role by hospitals in clinical education may be designed to prepare nurses who will be readily employed by those same hospitals. The new measure will assess whether their education, grounded in the practices of a single institution, prepares graduates for effective functioning in a wider range of institutions including non-hospital settings and for a broader spectrum of roles.
The creation of items for the measure was guided by the competencies identified as critical to nursing education by the Baccalaureate Essentials, the Nursing Executive Center, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing and other key professional organizations. For each competency, the NPO sought a consensus as to discrete tasks whose performance signifies mastery of that competency. The tasks have been incorporated in surveys of students enrolled in the EIN programs (including comparison sites) asking them to rate their confidence in performing each task. A draft of 38 items was shared with 50 leaders in nursing education to determine: (1) if the items serve as valid indicators of performance with regard to the competences, and (2) if the questions are likely to elicit varied responses from students (and avoid floor and ceiling effects). The instrument has been revised and refined based on this input. Prior to its use in the EIN program, the instrument was fielded to more than 300 students at various stages of their education in ADN and BSN programs in order to assess variability of response and psychometric properties. Use of this measure throughout the EIN initiative will yield a meaningful analysis of breadth of education across the interventions and will also substantiate the usefulness of the instrument to the broader academic nursing community.