Date of Conferral
The critical nursing faculty shortage in the United States affects the ability of nursing schools to train an adequate number of nurses to meet increasing health care demands. Researchers have focused on the nursing faculty shortage; however, insufficient information exists on the relational influence leadership has on faculty retention. The research problem addressed in this study was the lack of information identifying how and in what ways leadership influences retention and intent to stay in academia. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore the perceptual views of current faculty, using the leader-member exchange theory. Focusing on baccalaureate nursing leaders in the state of Colorado, the research questions addressed how influential academic leaders were regarding faculty retention and intent to stay in academia. This qualitative approach included interviews with purposefully selected baccalaureate nursing faculty members. A semistructured, open-ended interview tool provided the instrument for data collection and research question alignment. Giorgiâ??s data analysis procedure was applied to explore thematic patterns and NVivo 11 software was used to categorize and code data for interpretation. The study findings identified that leaders have significant influence on faculty retention within academia through establishment of quality relationship, open communication, and impartial work environments. Dissemination of these findings can be used to directly impact health care services by retaining faculty and improving the ability to meet the increasing health care demand. Positive social change implications include the potential to retain nursing faculty, maintain educational capacity, decrease health care costs, increase health care quality, and improve access to health services.