The role of professional development in adjunct nursing faculty identity salience
The purpose of this mixed methods study was to understand how adjunct nursing faculty integrate their pedagogical professional development (PD) experiences to develop identity salience as an educator, and understand how PD affects their perceptions of commitment, satisfaction, and time spent in the adjunct role. Administrators of nursing programs can use the results as evidence of the importance of providing PD to their adjunct faculty. Ten adjunct nursing faculty who participated in PD were interviewed using phenomenological qualitative methods comprised of interviewing and gathering field notes. The themes emerging from the interview revealed that ongoing PD fosters a teaching identity, reduces adjunct isolation, and leads to higher satisfaction through peer mentoring. The results also showed that a lack of PD lead to a reduced commitment to the adjunct role. In addition, quantitative data were gathered through the distribution of the Adjunct Faculty Identity Salience Survey (AFISS). The AFISS required the participants to answer 68 questions related to how PD affects their role as an adjunct. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, crosstabs, correlations, and exploratory factor analysis (EFA). The results generated from the AFISS supported the qualitative findings that pedagogical PD does contribute to salience as an educator. The EFA revealed the extent of the relationship that PD had on the independent variables. A positive, statistically significant relationship was revealed between PD and identity salience, commitment, time spent in the adjunct role, and satisfaction. Professional development had a stronger relationship with identity salience (r = .560), commitment (r = .535) and time spent in the adjunct role (r = .665) than it did on satisfaction (r = .123). The results can be incorporated by nursing programs utilizing adjunct nursing faculty as evidence to support that pedagogical PD does lead to salience as an educator and higher levels of adjunct commitment, satisfaction, and time spend in the role as an adjunct.