Facilitating Scholarship Success through a Collaborative Faculty Group

Tuesday, 10 November 2015: 10:00 AM

Camille Payne, PhD, MSN, BSN, RN1
Rachel E. Myers, PhD, RN, CDE1
Judith L. Hold, EdD, BSN, MSN, RN2
(1)WellStar School of Nursing, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA, USA
(2)Wellstar School of Nursing, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA, USA

New faculty entering the world of academia often struggle with meeting university requirements for research and scholarship endeavors. In addition, balancing role expectations for teaching, service and scholarship can seem overwhelming. Furthermore, advancing nursing through the development of new and applied knowledge is not only essential for the individual, but vital for growth of nursing as a profession. This presentation will share strategies for successful faculty collaboration to achieve and balance role expectations for teaching, service and scholarship.

Nursing faculty have reported many barriers to scholarship development and writing for publication, including inexperience, lack of scholar mentors, time constraints, workload issues (e.g., teaching and meeting demands), anxiety and fear of failing, and lack of colleagueship (Heinrich & Oberleitner, 2012; Ness, Duffy, McCallum, & Price, 2014).  These barriers can interfere with a faculty member’s progress in defining and achieving a scholarship program and meeting role expectations.

Setting up a program of research, and learning to write for grants can be a time consuming and arduous process, as not all schools and universities have research departments or personnel to provide support and guidance to individual faculty.  Faculty members in some institutions have attempted to address this gap by forming collaborative groups which have been found to help increase scholarly productivity (Ness et al., 2014). A review of the literature, however, reveals this strategy to be underutilized.

In one comprehensive Southeastern university, three tenure track faculty members established a collaborative faculty scholarship group to provide peer support and encouragement in order to cultivate clear individual research programs and goals.  Although the initial goals of this group were simply to meet regularly, and to set and achieve realistic short and long term goals, the combined energy and strengths of the members enabled achievement at a higher level than anticipated.

While not a part of the intentionality of the collaboration, as the group evolved, the three members were able to work both individually and collectively to generate presentations, articles and grants.  Several factors contributed to this success, such as small group size, frequent and regular meetings, and holding each other accountable.  In the initial ten months of collaborative efforts, combined achievements included 5 submitted grants (3 funded), 8 submitted scholarly articles (5 accepted; 3 decisions pending), and 12 submitted and accepted state, national and international podium or poster presentations. These outcomes suggest that this innovative faculty group strategy can be used as a model to promote collaborative nursing and interprofessional scholarship.