Nursing Teachers Wanted

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Armed with a stethoscope and thermometer…nurses are the front men to almost every hospital visit. But their numbers are dwindling and unfortunately, so are their teachers.

This registered nurse is learning quite quickly what it's like to take care of eight patients at a time.

"Hectic, nurses run around on the floors all day and they're short, the helps there but nurses need a day off took, but it just seems they work so much and get burned out and move on to the next place, " says Victoria Farkas, a registered nurse.

Victoria is one of a hundred and 50 students attending the Saint
Anthony College of Nursing. Classes start again in about two weeks, but this time there may not be enough teachers.

"We still have two positions that we have opened that offers have been made. This is the latest we've ever been in an academic year to have open offers," says Terri Burch, the Dean at Saint Anthony College of Nursing.

Dr. Burch says finding two part-time teaching assistants is hard work. Only ten people applied for those positions, some initially contacted by
Dr. Burch herself. She blames the lack of interest on the pay.

"The salaries in the clinical settings outside of the school are very high and it's tempting when you can make 40-thousand as a nurse practitioner for the same amount of time as a teacher," Dr. Burch says.

By nurses denying teaching jobs, students get the shaft. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing says last year nearly 42-thousand qualified students were turned away from nursing programs. That's because not enough teachers would step up to the plate.

"There's a lot of people I've talked to who want to be nurses but can't get in school because of the shortage of nurses," says Christy Russell-Barkett, an O-S-F senior.

Governor Rod Blagojevich signed a bill last month giving some financial support to nurses who goes back to school to get their masters or doctorate degrees.

O-S-F Saint Anthony is trying to get more nursing teachers by launching a new "nurse-teaching" track this fall.