Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education


Lisa Carbone

Committee Member

Jennifer Reeves


adjunct nursing faculty, doctoral education, nursing faculty shortage


The problem addressed in this qualitative case study was the nurse faculty shortage and associated consequences of a shortage of nurses available to care for an aging population with multifaceted healthcare needs in a complex healthcare system. Because of the nurse faculty shortage, numerous qualified applicants are unable to enroll in nursing programs across the country. One of the key reasons for the nurse faculty shortage is a lack of nurse educators with doctorate degrees to fill the vacant positions. Adjunct nursing faculty were interviewed to ascertain their perceptions about the nurse faculty shortage and messages conveyed by full-time nurse educators’ about their doctoral educational experience. Based upon their perception of the messages conveyed further exploration ensued as to whether participants were influenced in any manner, in the decision-making process, to personally pursue, or not pursue, a doctorate degree, and if so, potentially seek a full-time position as a nurse educator.

The findings revealed a distinct connection between the decision to pursue a doctorate degree and the perceptions of adjunct faculty regarding messages conveyed by faculty recently graduated from a doctorate program or in doctorate programs. Participants shared many stories that indicated how their perception inspired and encouraged them in their decision to pursue a doctorate degree. The benefit of having a professional mentor was overwhelmingly evident and served as a motivational, influential, and inspirational factor leading to the decision to pursue a doctorate degree, now, or in the future. Influential factors associated with the incentive, along with, an interest in academia as a career path and a driving force in the decision to pursue a doctorate degree were reported.