From Clinical Practice to Leadership in Academia

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Bimbola Fola Akintade, PhD, MBA, MHA, ACNP-BC, CCRN
School of Nursing, University of Maryland School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD, USA

Background: As an expert clinician, making the transition from clinical practice to a leadership position in an academic setting has presented many challenges. The Nurse Faculty Leadership Academy (NFLA) Scholar Program sponsored by Sigma Theta Tau International and Elsevier has helped mitigate these challenges for myself and other novice nursing faculty leaders. This is an 18 month faculty guided mentorship and leadership program which focused on three domains; leadership development, a scholar led team project and expanding the scope of influence.  

Methods:  Several leadership tools were utilized to accomplish the goals of the NFLA Scholar Program based on the aforementioned domains. These included an Individual Leadership Development Plan (ILDP), a scholar led project involving the development and implementation of a simulation based initiative at the University of Maryland School of Nursing to increase access to Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP) clinical sites and developing a network to expand the scholars scope of influence under the mentorship and guidance of my Leadership Mentor and Faculty Advisor.

Results: Through the mentorship process, the scholar was able to create a goal focused leadership plan including becoming a more effective leader, vocalizing thoughts, expanding sphere of influence and managing time effectively.  The scholar led simulation project has led to an increase in access to high acuity clinical units by first semester ACNP students at the University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore Maryland. In terms of expanding scope of influence, the scholar has been more active in clinical practice, scholarship (presenting and publishing), and currently serve on more than one national organization. 

Conclusions:The NFLA provides multiple avenues to emerging nurse leaders in academia through structured essential leadership skills and mentorship opportunities. This18 month faculty guided mentorship and leadership program provides the scholars with a community network to develop individualized quality leadership styles and resources, and to positively promote much needed change in academia and clinical practice.