Individual leadership: Three main goals emerged from a broad-based leadership assessment. First, a focus on visioning included vision clarity through contemplation and reflection and vision casting to develop a shared vision of nursing’s future within a local college of nursing. A second goal was to increase relationality (Kalanithi, 2016) in order to create a civil and effective environment for nursing education (Fischer, 2017). Finally, the third goal was to encourage thoughtful, deliberate scholarly work within nursing education, and to influence leaders locally and nationally to approach nursing leadership and education problems from a scholarly stance (Delgado & Mitchell, 2016).
Project leadership: As I began designing a project to ensure my continued growth as a leader, I was awarded a HRSA Nursing Workforce Diversity grant. The grant-funded project was based on a health equity model. Social determinants of health are prominent drivers of health disparity, which may be mitigated through increasing diversity in the nursing workforce to ensure access to quality care (Ramirez, Baker, & Metzler, 2008). The purpose of the project was to increase retention of diverse and disadvantaged nursing students in order to ultimately increase the diversity of the nursing workforce. The program systematically and proactively identified at-risk students prior to the beginning of Fall 2016 courses using an investigator-developed risk profile assessment that incorporated social determinants. Secondly, the project offered academic, social, lifestyle, financial, and mentoring support to the identified students. All programmatic elements were developed and implemented during the 2016-17 academic year. Summative evaluation is pending and will be presented.
Leading a team of 8 nursing faculty, 5 collaborators within the university, and one community partner, I was immediately thrust into a leadership position that was unprecedented in our college. I quickly put leadership behaviors into practice and began to delegate effectively, trust my colleagues, listen carefully, make constant adjustments, communicate on multiple fronts to build consensus, collaborate with internal and external partners, all of which built self-confidence and respect. The team completed the project, has presented preliminary data at a national conference and has one manuscript under review.
Influence: Throughout the NFLA experience intentional, strategic efforts scaffolded and built upon the existing reach and scope of my leadership influence. Acknowledgements and positions within the college, university, community, and broader profession have brought recognition and opportunities. This final section of the presentation will be particularly future-focused, discussing the progress made and a vision for future expansion of influence in order to meet the goals of supporting, sustaining, and growing the profession of nursing through quality nursing education.
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