Promoting Leadership: The NFLA Experience

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Erin E. Killingsworth, PhD, MSN, BSN, RN
Louise Herrington School of Nursing, Baylor University, Dallas, TX, USA
Marilyn Oermann, PhD, MSN, BSN, FAAN
School of Nursing, Duke University School of Nursing, Durham, NC, USA
Carol Winters, PhD, RN, CNE
Colleges of Nursing, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, USA

To meet the challenges in higher education and healthcare, nursing education needs leaders who are dedicated to providing quality education, finding creative solutions, and working collaboratively with multidisciplinary teams. The purpose of Sigma Theta Tau International’s Nurse Faculty Leadership Academy (NFLA), sponsored by Elsevier, is to mentor junior nursing faculty to promote leadership development and individual career success in addition to supporting nursing academia through faculty retention and fostering productive work environments.

Methods: The NFLA uses the Triad relationship between the Scholar, Leadership Mentor, and Faculty Advisor to meet the purpose of the academy. Through the Triad relationship, this Scholar, participated in the 18-month leadership program by completing an individual leadership plan, leading a team project, and expanding her personal scope of influence.

Results: The individual leadership plan, based upon Kouzes and Posner’s leadership model, specifically focused on promoting the scholar’s leadership in her academic environment and reflecting on her leadership practices and experiences. From this plan, the scholar engaged in leadership activities at her institution such as mentoring a new faculty member, leading committees at the school level related to quality improvement and program accreditation, serving as the keynote speaker at school and college level functions, and representing the school on a university level committee. The team leadership project focused on creating a comprehensive evaluation plan to support the development and evaluation of BSN nursing student progression toward safe nursing practice in regard to targeted student outcomes identified from the AACN’s (2008) Baccalaureate Essentials. The team developed a curriculum assessment template to serve as a guide to identify gaps in the curriculum, map out where in the curriculum the student outcomes were being taught, and identify how those outcomes were evaluated. The outcome evaluation included the specific assessment method and level of Bloom’s cognitive taxonomy. During the NFLA, the scholar’s scope of influence increased in the school of nursing and at the college level: this can be seen through increased recognition for her expertise by school and college administration. Examples include being asked to participate in curriculum development at the school level and to teach a multidisciplinary course with students from nursing, pharmacy, public health, and dietetics at the college level.     

Conclusions: The NFLA experience allowed one junior faculty member to be mentored by leaders in nursing education to promote her personal leadership and career development.