Transforming: The Leader in Me

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Temeaka A. Gray, PsyD, MBA, MSN
College of Nursing/ Department of Advanced Population Health, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH, USA
Judy A. Didion, PhD, MSN, BSN
School of Nursing, Oakland University, Rochester, MI, USA
Laura C. Dzurec, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, ANEF, FAAN
School of Nursing, Widener University, Chester, PA, USA

Introduction: Nurse faculty leadership is important to the future of the nursing profession. Nurse faculty leaders are charged with leading students, nurses, nursing faculty, and organizations in a way that positively impacts care of global communities. Management is something that is easily taught through traditional approaches but leadership requires different techniques and methodology. The Nurse Faculty Leadership Academy encourages nurse faculty to explore the leader within as a technique to grow ability and project newly developed skills outward to assist people, organizations, and communities.

Purpose: The first purpose of this presentation is to provide information about my leadership journey. The second purpose of this presentation is to discuss the impact the Nurse Faculty Leadership has had on my leadership journey. The third is to discuss my research project and the findings of my research about best practices for communication in a shared governance structure.

Methodology: Due to the structure of the program, I unknowingly took the leadership role from the beginning. The roles of my leadership mentor and faculty advisor purposefully assisted with the unfolding of the leader within. A team was created to observe my leadership transformation. This team included my Leadership Mentor, Faculty Advisor, people in faculty roles at the college where I work, and members of the community where I live. Founded on the principles of Kouzes and Posner’s Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership Model, the NFLA used various tools to pointedly encourage my growth first as a nurse faculty leader and ultimately self-recognition of myself as an overall leader in many areas of my life and in the community. A Delphi study was used to encourage communication between junior level faculty, senior level faculty, and administration.

Result: From the beginning of submitting my proposal to completing my journey in the NFLA, I have changed internally and externally. Initially, I thought that my goal was finding my voice but over the course of the program, I looked inside myself and found my true goals. I developed immediate, intermediate, and long-term goals for myself and for my career with plans to meet these goals. The NFLA, an intense, 22-month program dedicated to growing leadership skills in junior level faculty assisted me in transforming my leadership development, assisting with the advancement of education, and expanding my scope of influence within the academic institution where I am employed, the community that I live in, and the nursing profession. The project that I used as a vehicle to explore and expand my leadership role encouraged me to have meaningful discussions with all faculty at my college about a topic that is historically important to colleges and universities but that is often loosely defined. While governance and communication are both very important to colleges the processes are not always specifically defined in a way that is mutually agreed upon as effective and efficient. The result of the study is an adaptable work document that was created by the opinions of faculty and administration. The creation of the Best Practices in Communication and Shared Governance document presents a mutually agreed upon plan for communication in a shared governance structure at the college of nursing where I am employed. I plan to take this information and encourage other people and organizations to explore means of accomplishing tasks effectively and efficiently. The realization that I control my ultimate destiny was the greatest reward.