Transforming an Educational Culture through a Model of Care

Monday, 9 November 2015: 10:00 AM

Susan L. Groenwald, PhD, MSN, BSN, RN, ANEF, FAAN
Chamberlain College of Nursing, Downers Grove, IL, USA

A recent Gallup poll revealed that a primary factor in an individual’s success in school and the workplace was having a faculty member who cared about them as a person; yet only 22 percent of those surveyed reported receiving such support in college.  At many educational institutions, students are left on their own to figure out how to persevere and are expected to be self-sufficient. Though this environment works for some students, particularly at elite institutions, many college students feel lost, lonely, confused, inadequate and anxious.

To make matters worse, negative cultures at some institutions are discouraging graduates from becoming educators. At the January 2015 AACN Doctoral Forum, researchers reported a common theme across five studies funded by RWJF that evaluated DNP and PHD preparation:  The majority of students in both programs do not want an academic career because of the negative cultures they experienced while pursuing their education. 

At the institution that is the focus of this symposium, there exists a belief that if we take extraordinary care of our students, they are more likely to be successful – motivated instead of pushed down, encouraged instead of berated. We believe that if we model the kinds of values and behaviors we want in extraordinary nurses, students are more likely to develop those important values and behaviors.  From these beliefs a model of student success was developed with three elements of care as the underpinning:  care of self, care of students, and care of faculty/staff. 

The presenter is the institutional president who led the transformation of the institution to a culture of care and service so that it would be part of the organization’s DNA.  The presenter will describe the steps in the transformational process and provide examples of specific initiatives focused on the care of faculty and students including specific results of those initiatives.