"If you haven't got a PhD, you're not going to get a job": The PhD as a hurdle to continuing academic employment in nursing

Publisher:
Churchill Livingstone
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Nurse Education Today, 2011, 31 (4), pp. 340 - 344
Issue Date:
2011-01
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This paper is drawn from a larger study that sought to identify and examine issues around the employment of sessional academic staff in baccalaureate nurse education. Twelve sessional teachers and 12 continuing academics participated in the interviews. Examination of the data revealed the PhD was perceived as a hurdle to continuing employment in nurse education in the university sector. In the current climate, sessional teachers continue to be an essential part of the nursing academic workforce and are necessary to meet the teaching and learning demands associated with implementing nursing curricula. Findings suggest a need for scrupulous processes in relation to the recruitment of sessional staff, and highlight the difficulties that sessional teachers may have in securing continuing academic employment. We provide recommendations to facilitate the appointment of appropriate individuals into sessional roles and highlight the need to mentor and support sessional teachers wishing to pursue a career as nurse academics. Questions are raised about how nursing can plan for future academic workforce needs in a context of an aging academic workforce, the demand for doctoral training for nurse academics, and widespread casualisation of the nursing academic workforce.
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