Succession Planning for the Future through an Academic-Practice Partnership: A Nursing Administration Master's Program for Emerging Nurse Leaders

Monday, 18 November 2013: 1:45 PM

Susan M. Dyess, PhD, RN, AHN-BC1
Rose O. Sherman, EdD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN1
Angela Prestia Prestia, RN, MSN, NE-BC2
(1)Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL
(2)Good Samaritan Medical Center, West Plam Beach, FL

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to identify the need for a nursing administration graduate program targeted to emerging nurse leaders and outcomes thus far.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to discuss the action research process, enhanced curriculum and the integration of essential elements for future nurse leaders


Well prepared nurse leaders are needed; yet, a staggering 50% of current nurse leaders plan to retire in the coming decade. Future nurse leaders should be prepared to establish and maintain healthy practice environments, improve quality outcomes with decreasing resources, recruit and retain nurses, and concurrently coordinate, integrate, and facilitate sustainable healthcare value.  An action research project developed an innovative enhanced nursing administration master’s program targeted to emerging nurse leaders, not yet employed in formal leadership roles.


 An action research design is being used.  The strength of the action research approach fosters a creative and critical dialogue between nurse leader practice partners, academic faculty and the emerging leaders themselves. 


 Research identified that emerging leaders need the following qualities: the intellectual capacity to process and respond to change, a need to be politically astute, competency with business skills required of nurse leaders today, comfort with ambiguity, use of a caring approach and leadership from a posture of innovation.  Curriculum was revised to include clinical immersion with a nurse leader from the first semester in the program, a change from all online to online/hybrid courses, innovative assignments and a strong mentorship component. The program began January, 2012 with 18 emerging leaders and the second cohort began 2013 with 16.  Early outcomes are positive. 


The emerging nurse leaders may be uniquely positioned, given the right skills sets, to be nurse leaders in the new age.  The academic-practice partnership has flourished. It has also been enhanced by the involvement of a nationally recognized and highly respected nurse leader like Dr. Tim Porter O’Grady, who has urged us to surrender our attachments to what has worked in the past. We are encouraged at the progress we have made and our lessons learned can inform both academic and leadership development programs.