2017 New Jersey Revised Statutes
TITLE 18A - EDUCATION
Section 18A:71C-51 - Findings, declarations relative to the Nursing Faculty Loan Redemption Program.

18A:71C-51 Findings, declarations relative to the Nursing Faculty Loan Redemption Program.

2. The Legislature finds and declares that:

a. This State is experiencing a critical shortage in its nursing workforce, which is expected to worsen in the next two decades. In New Jersey, as well as nationwide, the shortage of faculty in schools of nursing is reaching crisis proportions. Insufficient numbers of faculty hinder schools' efforts to increase their capacity.

b. According to projections by the Health Resources and Services Administration of the federal Department of Health and Human Services, New Jersey is estimated to be 49% below demand, resulting in a shortfall of 42,400 registered professional nurse full-time equivalent positions throughout the State by 2020.

c. The demand for nurses at all levels of training and in all health care settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, veterans' homes and home health care and community-based programs, is increasing as the population gets older. Recent data from schools of nursing in New Jersey show that there is an increased interest in nursing by potential students; 67% of schools of nursing in the State turned away qualified student applicants and 57% report numbers of enrollments greater than their current capacity to educate students.

d. The average age of New Jersey's registered professional nurses and licensed practical nurses is increasing each year; in 2007 54.4% of the State's registered professional nurses were between 46 and 60 years of age and 13.3% were more than 60 years of age; 29% of non-retired registered professional nurses were older than 55 years of age. These findings indicate that, assuming the majority of nurses retire at 65 years of age, the State will need to replace one third of its nursing workforce over the next 10 years.

e. The number of full-time faculty positions currently budgeted in New Jersey's schools of nursing totals 575 full-time equivalents. Of these, six percent, or 35 full-time equivalents, were vacant in October 2004; 54% of the nursing schools in the State reported faculty vacancies.

f. The faculty shortage is part of the larger picture and all areas must be addressed as nurses are vital to the public's health. Research indicates that without sufficient numbers of well-qualified nurses, patients' lives and well-being are at increased risk. The minimum educational requirement of a nursing instructor according to the New Jersey Board of Nursing regulations is a master's degree in nursing (MSN). For nursing faculty in the State's 13 associate degree programs in community colleges and 11 diploma programs in hospitals, a MSN is required. Many schools also require that faculty be certified in the specialty practice area in which they teach.

L.2009, c.236, s.2.

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