Facilitating Individual Leadership Development and Advancing Communication through a Multidisciplinary Team Leadership Project

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Wyona M. Freysteinson, PhD, MN, BSN, RN
Nelda C. Stark College of Nursing, Texas Woman's University, Houston, TX, USA

Background: The Texas Medical Center (TMC), the largest medical center in the world, has a healthcare workforce comprised of individuals from over 150 countries. Texas Woman’s University is situated within the heart of the TMC. There are healthcare students enrolled in this university who have regional and/or foreign accents that act as barriers to intelligible language and effective safe communication.

Goal: The focus of this project was to enhance the personal leadership development of an emerging academic nurse leader through guiding a university-wide team that focused on improving the oral communication skills of healthcare students.   

Methods: The 18 month Nurse Faculty Leadership Academy (NFLA) Scholar Program is sponsored by Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) and Elsevier. Kouzes and Posner’s leadership practices were used throughout the program and allowed the scholar to refine her own leadership style. Through frequent communications in a triad relationship the scholar was mentored in building a comprehensive individualized leadership plan and career development map. The triad consisted of STTI Faculty Mentor: Dr. Ainslee Nibert, Leadership Mentor: Dr. Karen Morin, and Faculty Scholar: Dr. Wyona M. Freysteinson.  

Results: The NFLA scholar discovered the value of self-reflection, gained inner strength in challenging the status quo, and acquired increased sensitivity to others. A multi-disciplinary team developed and implemented the Language of Scholarship: Accent Modification Program for University Students. Initial significant findings of the Language of Scholarship research study have resulted in a large health care system in the TMC requesting that the program be implemented and researched within their hospitals which will allow for the collection of staff and patient indicators.

Conclusions: The NFLA leadership program and mentoring triads provide opportunities for junior nurse faculty to develop their leadership skills, cultivate a supportive multidisciplinary environment, expand their scope of influence, and ultimately find satisfaction in being an academic nurse leader.