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J Prof Nurs. 1989 Jan-Feb;5(1):39-48.

Academic tenure in schools of nursing.


The purpose of this research study was to examine factors involved in tenure decisions in schools of nursing. Of 139 deans of nursing surveyed, from schools having both National League for Nursing (NLN) accredited BSN and graduate programs, 135 provided a profile of tenure practices; however, 133 schools were used in the data analysis because two of the programs did not offer tenure. The majority of deans selected academic activities related to teaching performance as more important than research and service activities for tenure decisions. When deans were asked to rank the three broad areas of tenure criteria, 60 deans (55 per cent) ranked teaching as most important, as compared with 49 deans (45 per cent) who ranked research most important. Service was ranked least important by 98 deans (89 per cent). However, deans from the 41 doctoral programs ranked research more important than teaching, but still ranked service the least important. In examining faculty performance of those who were reviewed for tenure in the past 3 years, faculty members who were viewed by deans as providing a high standard of teaching, research, and service were more likely to have been awarded tenure. Quality of teaching, quality of research, and quality of service, in rank order of predictive power, were found to be predictors for attainment of tenure.

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