Assessment of nursing faculty retirement projections

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Nursing outlook








DNP faculty; Nursing PhD faculty; Nursing faculty retirement; Nursing faculty retirement projection; Nursing faculty succession


BACKGROUND: Nursing faculty retirement is a critical factor contributing to the nursing faculty shortage. PURPOSE: To assess the accuracy of projections on 2016 to 2025 nursing faculty retirements made in a previous study by Fang and Kesten (2017). METHODS: The 2016 to 2022 full-time nursing faculty data collected by American Association of Colleges of Nursing were used to examine the accuracy of the retirement projections for the same years. DISCUSSION: The study found that the mean age of full-time nursing faculty decreased for the first time; the number of faculty retirees and their age distributions projected by Fang and Kesten (2017) were accurate; there was a larger loss of nursing faculty at senior ranks to retirements than was anticipated; nursing faculty aged 50 to 59 in 2015 have made significant progress in doctoral attainment, senior rank, and graduate-level teaching by 2022, but they were still underrepresented in senior ranks compared to the 2016 to 2022 retirees; and for nursing faculty with a PhD degree, their growth was slower than their loss to retirements. CONCLUSION: The findings demonstrate the usefulness of the specific methods for faculty retirement projections. The decline in the mean age of nursing faculty is a positive sign that there is an increased recruitment of younger nurses into academia. The increase in the number of younger nurses entering academia with Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)-degree preparation can be leveraged through PhD-DNP collaboration to prepare practice-ready nursing graduates who contribute to health care improvements. Nursing schools need to implement innovative strategies to mentor younger faculty for their successful succession.


Nursing Faculty Publications