Transitioning From Practice to Academia: An Integrative Review of Facilitators and Barriers
Legare, Terri Lea
Armstrong, Deborah K.
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Session presented on Saturday, April 9, 2016 and Friday, April 8, 2016: A nursing faculty shortage has been documented and is anticipated to persist according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN, 2009). The lack of academic nursing faculty in turn contributes to the nursing shortage (Benner, Sutphen, Leonard, & Day, 2010; Bellack & Tanner, 2010; Institute of Medicine, 2011). Many qualified applicants to pre-licensure nursing programs have been turned away because of the inability to attract and retain qualified and competent academic nursing faculty (AACN, 2011; National Advisory Council of Nursing Education, 2010; NLN, 2014; Yedidia, Chou, Brownlee, Flynn, & Tanner, 2014). Perpetuating this problem, novice nurse educators frequently struggle as they transition from clinical practice into an academic role. Although they are experts in the clinical setting, they are often unprepared for the academic role educationally or experientially, leaving them unable to competently fulfill the role requirements, and leading to their attrition from the role. There is little research regarding how to support clinical nurses with advanced degrees as they transition into the role of an academic nurse educator. The purpose of this integrative review is to present a synthesis of the academic literature on transitioning from practice to academia, and explore the facilitators and identify barriers in the transition process. Nursing education literature form 2010 to 2014 was reviewed utilizing Whittemore and Knafl's (2005) method. Search terms utilized included: expert clinical, nurse faculty or educator, facilitators, barriers, strategies for success, transition. Peer reviewed literature from the United States, and published during the years 2010-2014 was included in order to contemporize the concept of the transition form practice to academia after publication of the landmark studies Educating Nurses (Benner, et al., 2010) and The Future of Nursing (IOM, 2011). Nine empirical and theoretical articles were ultimately included in this integrative review. Predominant themes and concepts were abstracted from the sample and identified as facilitators or barriers in the transition process of nurses from clinical practice to academic nurse educator positions. Facilitators included mentoring, professional development, socialization and institutional support. Factors identified as barriers included role ambiguity, role strain, lack of educational preparation to the role of academia, and lack of mentoring or peer support. Understanding the facilitators and barriers to the transition of the expert clinical nurse to a novice nurse educator role will lead to best practices to facilitate an effective transition. A successful transition reaches father than the individual novice academic nurse educator by positively impacting recruitment and retention of clinical nurses to academia.