Tranformational Leadership in Nursing Education

Sunday, 17 November 2013: 2:45 PM

Sheree C. Carter, RN, MSN, CNS
College of Nursing, The University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL
Beth Hultquist, MSN, RN, CNE
Louise Herrington School of Nursing, Baylor University, Dallas, TX
Erin E Killingsworth, RN, MSN
Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing, Samford University, Birmingham, AL
Rita W. Ferguson, RN, MSN, CHPN, CNE
College of Nursing, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to verbalize Parker Palmer's five transformational strategies and how they relate to reform in nursing eduation.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to verbalize the contributions of nurse leaders in the transformation of learner-centered education.

Context: Institutions of higher learning are tasked with developing professionals armed with knowledge and passion for their chosen field.  Nursing education strives to educate the next generation of nurses while transforming their practice to be globally focused, scientifically based, and ethically sound. However, current educational practices are found to be inadequate in today’s healthcare system.  The Institute of Medicine’s seminal report, “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health” (2010) called for collaboration and nurse leaders have issued a clarion call for reform within nursing education. While the need for change in nursing education is clear and consistent, the application of change at the faculty-student level is slow to emerge. 

Background: Parker Palmer (1998/2007) in his reflections on teaching wrote eloquently about the inner life of a teacher and the effects of good teaching on the transformation of students to professionals.  He advocated liberating students from the traditional view of institutional power over knowledge, validating the emotional side of learning, encouraging the use of students’ emotional knowledge as well as scientific knowledge, cultivating a discerning view of knowledge, and revitalizing the faculty – student relationship to model active, engaged learning. Four nursing leaders, Patricia Benner, Em Bevis, Christine Tanner, and Marilyn Oermann, embody Palmer’s proposed changes and together they provide the impetus for transformation. 

Aim: Using Palmer’s five proposals with the examples of Benner, Bevis, Tanner, and Oermann as a blueprint for nursing educational reform, nursing education can meet and surpass the demands of modern healthcare and strengthen the next generation of nursing professionals.