Nursing Program Dashboard as Strategic Planning Tool to Communicate Outcomes: An NFLA Experience

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Angela Opsahl, DNP, RN, CPHQ
School of Nursing, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA
Sara Horton-Deutsch, PhD, MS, BSN, RN, ANEF, FAAN
College of Nursing, University of Colorado-Denver, Aurora, CO, USA
Barbara Manz Friesth, PhD
School of Nursing, Indiana University, Indianapolis,, IN, USA

Nurse Faculty Leadership Academy is a twenty-month program created by Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) and funded by Elsevier. The purpose of the academy is to mentor early career nurse faculty through leadership development in order to impact their individual professional success and support the next generation of nurse faculty. Kouzes and Posner’s leadership challenge model served as the curriculum for the development process within the three domains of: individual leadership development, leading a team project to advance nursing education, and expanding scope of influence in academic institutions, the community, and the profession. Method: The triad relationship between Scholar, Leadership Mentor, and Faculty Advisor served as the key vehicle for leadership growth within the three domains of the leadership challenge model. An individualized leadership development plan was accomplished through frequent communication between members of the triad relationship and implementation of a team leadership project, facilitated by active participation in two multiple day workshops and monthly group leadership phone conference calls. Result: Applying the above model for professional growth, an individualized leadership development plan was created with specific focus on greater self-awareness surrounding the necessity of slowing down in the midst of multiple initiatives on a short timeline, delegating tasks to other in order to allow them to shine, and inviting input form others as a means to introduce more diverse opinions and a richer overall exchange. These changes to the scholar’s leadership approach addressed three of the five Kouzes and Posner practices to model the way for others, enable other to act, and encourage the heart. Additionally, these practices supported the scholar and her ability to function as a more effective and mindful leader through the implementation of a team leadership project. The visual program review dashboard and newsletter were created as part of the NFLA leadership project with collaboration from members of the leadership team to assist the overall communication of program outcomes to the community of interest. As a result of the project, the visual program review dashboard will become part of the nursing division strategic plan. This scheduled update of program outcomes serves as a point in time reflection to convey the degree of nursing program quality and holds the school of nursing accountable to the community of interest with dissemination. Furthermore, the visual program review dashboard supports the CCNE standards utilized to benchmark the success of a nursing program in achieving its mission, goals, and outcomes. Feedback for the leadership team project was accomplished via electronic survey administered via Qualtrics software platform to the external communities of interest, university faculty, nursing school alumni and current nursing students. The survey released annually provided quantitative data (Likert scale) for comparison of overall nursing program visual reporting satisfaction of multivariate assessments related to program outcomes and qualitative (open-ended) comments and observations for consideration. Community of interest responses reflected > 4.3/5.0 satisfaction level with the new reporting dashboard format for communication of outcomes. Open participant comments were positive toward the visual representation and assistance to understand program performance. The NFLA program experience has allowed the scholar to expand her scope of influence through greater engagement with campus programs, our profession regionally, and in national arenas. Examples include: New faculty position at a larger campus with greater opportunity for professional growth/expansion of influence, Leadership Succession Chair for our regional chapter of Sigma Theta Tau, President of the Indiana Association for Healthcare Quality, and a publication for Journal of Nursing Care Quality with three accepted grant submissions and six abstracts accepted for conference presentations regional to international. Conclusion: The NFLA approach allows junior faculty a valuable mentored experience from nursing education leaders to improve personal leadership skills and this scholar to transition from a transactional leader toward a transformational leader. The NFLA leadership program with the triad mentoring approach provides opportunities for early career nurse faculty to develop their leadership skills to cultivate a supportive multidisciplinary environment, expand their scope of influence, and ultimately find satisfaction in being an academic nurse leader.


Nurse Faculty Leadership Academy; Leadership Development; Mentoring; Nursing Dashboard; program quality improvement