Date of Completion

January 1986


Health Sciences, Nursing




This study of nursing faculty clinical practice explores the extent to which the trend in the literature supporting practice by nursing faculty is reflected in actual practice. It addresses twelve research questions related to the nature and implementation of faculty clinical practice.^ The first stage of this study consisted of eighteen personal interviews with administrators and faculty in six nursing programs in Connecticut. From this pilot study questionnaires were developed for a national survey. One questionnaire was sent to the administrator of each associate degree and generic baccalaureate degree programs in the United States accredited by the National League for Nursing. The administrators of 664 schools responded, an 88.5% response rate. Another questionnaire was sent to a sample of faculty from schools randomly selected from those administrators were willing to participate. A sample of 486 faculty, a 54.9% response rate, was obtained. The responses were analyzed using SPSS procedures and chi-square analysis. Some questions were addressed only to schools with policies or only to administrators who had faculty who practice or to faculty who practice. When appropriate, the administrators' answers were compared according to whether or not the school has a policy and by type of program and whether the institution is public or private. These comparisons were presented in table form. The questionnaires resulted in a wealth of information related to nursing faculty clinical practice.^ The increase in the literature regarding faculty clinical practice is reflected in an increasing number of nursing programs which have policies regarding faculty clinical practice. One-hundred and three administrators (15%) reported that their schools had policies regarding faculty clinical practice; 56% were formal and 44% were informal. Of these policies, 78% were less than 10 years old and 43% were less than three years old. Ninety-two percent of the administrators had faculty who engaged in clinical practice and 57% of the faculty practice themselves. The conflicting definitions of faculty clinical practice found in the literature were reflected in the responses. Faculty clinical practice, as operationally defined by most respondents, does not meet the criteria currently being advocated by nursing leaders. ^