Experiential Introspection: An Integrated Approach to Meaningful Leadership Development in Undergraduate Nursing Students

Monday, 18 November 2013: 2:05 PM

Waite, R Waite, EdD BSN, MSN
College of Nursing & Health Professions, Drexel University, Phila, PA
Meloy, F Meloy, PhD, MSN, MBA
Nursing, Drexel University, Phila, PA

Learning Objective 1: identify 3 innovative approches to enagaging students to develop their leadership capacity and leadership efficacy.

Learning Objective 2: describe at least 2 ways interprofessional learning experiences and social justice priniciples can enhance leadership courses.

The Institute of Medicine’s Future of Nursing report (2010) highlighted the need for nurses at all levels to assume sophisticated leadership roles in all aspects of healthcare delivery. In order to prepare graduates with the requisite knowledge, skills, and insights needed to practice in an ever-changing healthcare system nurse educators are increasingly challenged to move beyond discussions of esoteric leadership theories and rote memorization to meaningful contextually-based learning experiences in which students gain personal insight into how leadership fits in their life, the unique qualities they possess, and an understanding of complex systems impacting professional nursing practice.

This presentation will provide an overview of development, implementation, evaluation, and next steps in the evolution of an Undergraduate Leadership Fellows Program for undergraduate nursing students supported by the Josiah Macy Foundation. The unique component of this educational offering was the emphasis on student-centered, action-oriented learning through experiential introspection of leadership theory, self-reflection and contextual experiences grounded in a variety of real-world clinical scenarios, simulation, and professional mentoring.  Examples of student engagement strategies and outcomes will be complemented by an overview of both quantitative and qualitative program evaluation methods.

The overarching question among contemporary nurse educators is how to provide meaningful leadership development in content-saturated curricula and the current hierarchical, siloed healthcare system.  It is hoped that the lessons learned and insights gained from this highly successful leadership development project will contribute to the dialogue of how to better bridge the gap between education and practice and stimulate new opportunities for collaboration and meaningful leadership development that will equip nursing graduates with knowledge, skills, and insights inherent in new and emerging leadership roles in local, national, and global healthcare environments.