Individual and institutional characteristics associated with short tenures of deanships in academic nursing

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5 Scopus citations


Background: The departures of chief academic administrators of nursing programs within a short tenure are likely to affect the operation of their institutions significantly. Purpose: To help nursing schools improve recruitment and retention of chief academic administrators. Methods: We obtained deans' records from the membership database of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) for 11 starting cohorts between 2001 and 2011 and matched the data with dean data collected in the AACN Annual Survey to retrieve additional information on individual and institutional characteristics. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were used to examine the association between a characteristic and short tenures (less than 5 years). Findings: We found that 41% of deanships have short tenures, and the figure increased from earlier cohorts to later cohorts in general. We did not find that first-time deans were more likely to experience a short tenure. However, we found in bivariate analyses that deans in newly created nursing programs have a higher likelihood of leaving deanships in less than 5 years. We also found in bivariate and multivariate analyses that an individual characteristic, age 60 or older, and three institutional attributes, deans with a title as Chair, Director, or Department Head, deans in nursing schools without a tenure system, and deans in baccalaureate or associate degree granting institutions are more likely to have a short tenure. In brief, our findings show that deans in smaller nursing programs are more likely than deans in larger nursing programs to experience a short tenure Discussion: Our findings that deans in smaller programs and newly created programs are more likely to experience early attrition provide useful information to the nursing education community so more focused efforts can be made to improve the retention of chief academic administrators in nursing programs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)578-585
Number of pages8
JournalNursing Outlook
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Inc.


  • Dean
  • Deanship
  • Tenure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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