Leadership Development for Nursing Faculty: Experiences from the Sigma Theta Tau International Chiron Leadership Institute

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Angela Chia-Chen Chen, PhD, RN, PMHNP-BC
College of Nursing & Healthcare Innovation, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ
Dianne Morrison-Beedy, PhD, RN, WHNP-BC, FNAP, FAAN
School of Nursing, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY

Learning Objective 1: to describe an early career nursing faculty’s experience from the Sigma Theta Tau International Chiron Leadership Institute

Learning Objective 2: to identify factors that made the mentoring experience successful

Background: Nursing has faced significant challenges in recruiting, training and retaining doctorally-prepared nursing faculty in academic settings due to an increase in the number of retirements, work demands, loss to clinical settings with higher compensation, and the complexity of their role. Early career nursing faculty often find it is difficult to balance the competing expectations regarding scholarship, teaching, service, professional growth and maintaining clinical competence. Mentoring with a focus on developing the multidimensional nature of the faculty role is essential for early career nursing faculty to become competent and productive professionals in academia. 
Purpose: This presentation describes an early career nursing faculty’s experiences from the Sigma Theta Tau International Chiron Program for leadership development.     
Method: Each mentee was paired with one experienced nurse professional who guided the mentee to prepare and carry out individualized leadership development plan. Eleven mentee pairs were invited to Indianapolis for a three-day institute in July 2007. Participants were oriented to leadership development and mentoring skills through lectures, large and small group activities, and discussions. Each mentee also worked with his/her mentor to execute a tailored leadership plan through face-to-face meetings and internet/phone discussions during the one-year period.
Results: Working with the Chiron mentor, the primary author submitted two data-based manuscripts, presented twice at national/international conferences, and submitted two research proposals for external funding within the year. Factors that made the primary author’s Chiron experience successful included strong commitment of the mentee and the mentor, clear goals and expectations, effective communication strategies, and institutional support. 
Conclusion: Effective mentoring has assisted the primary author to achieve identified professional goals. The Chiron Leadership Institute has provided resources necessary to facilitate this process.