My Journey in the Nurse Faculty Leadership Academy (NFLA)

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Cynthia M. Bemis, DNP
Community and Health Systems, Indiana University School of Nursing, Indianapolis, IN, USA
Donna B. Konradi, PhD
Graduate Nursing, Univresity of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN, USA
Gwen Sherwood, PhD, RN, FAAN
School of Nursing, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Chapel hill, NC, USA


The Nurse Faculty Leadership Academy (NFLA) has prepared leaders in academia based on Kouzes' and Posner's leadership model of Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership (2012) and three foundational domains of leadership. The three domains are individual leadership development, leading a team project, and expanding scope of influence.


My purpose for applying to the NFLA was to foster growth in areas of academic leadership and to learn how to expand my scope of influence within the nursing community.


The methods used to evaluate effectiveness of the NFLA on the scholar was a Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI) taken initially and just over midway thru the academy. This assessment was complete by the scholar and a faculty observer. Additional methods for evaluation was to complete an individual leadership development plan based on the LPI and the development of a few priority goals.


The individual leadership development plan for this scholar focused on a few key areas of growth. These include challenging the process, enabling others to act, and encouraging the heart. Mindfulness and specific strategies were used to help develop in these areas. These strategies include scheduling of purposeful rounding with others to help engage and support, using time to build relationship and connect with people, respectfully voicing concerns and providing alternate solutions, and providing meaningful ways to thank others for their achievements and contributions. Areas of growth were evident as I progressed from a new faculty member to administrative role and in the leading of a team project.

The team project involved a large, academic health center and a mixed methods approach to look at nursing graduate performance in the first year of practice. The information gathered was used to evaluate strengths and opportunities for the school of nursing in the preparation of the baccalaureate nurse. The team consisted of administration from both the school of nursing and the academic health center.

In expanding my scope of influence within the organization, community, and profession, I personally and strategically positioned myself in areas of nursing that I wanted to affect change. At the organization level, I became involved in many committees and work groups within the school and across the campus. My focus in these areas was to influence curriculum and structure to improve efficiencies in processes. This led to some guest lecturing and other events where I was able to interact with large groups of students and faculty. Within my community and profession, I was able to increase my involvement and responsibilities within my nursing organizations, joining groups that would increase my visibility and influence. Through this involvement, I was asked to consult on a couple of projects involving the academic health center where I completed my team project. At the state level, I was invited to a health care workforce council as a nurse faculty representative and an advisory committee focused on data collection of nurses within the state. All of these opportunities gave me the opportunity to speak with a strong voice for nursing and influence change within the nursing profession. .


The guidance and direction provided by the NFLA was instrumental in the development of myself in an academic leadership role. During the academy I took on an administrative role within my school of nursing leading both new and tenured faculty as they continue on their academic journey. Without the support and lessons learned from the NLFA, this would not have been possible so early in my academic faculty role.