Academic Leadership in Baccalaureate Nursing Programs: A Literature Review
Reichert, Amanda C.
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Session presented on Saturday, July 25, 2015: Title: Academic Leadership in Baccalaureate Nursing Programs: A Literature Review Background: The aging population, lack of succession planning and leadership development in health care, and long term effects of America's economic down tuRNn 2008, have been identified as factors contributing to the imminent health care leadership crisis forecasted in the coming decades (Balogh-Robinson, 2012; AACN, 2014). By 2025, a shortage of between 300,000 and one million nurses is predicted (IOM, 2011). As a result of the aging workforce, seventy-five percent of nursing's current leaders will leave nursing by 2020 (IOM, 2011). Recruiting and retaining faculty is a major challenge facing nursing education leaders (Balogh-Robinson, 2012). Without the recruitment and retention of faculty, opportunities for new faculty to advance into leadership positions are limited. As deans are charged with the creation and evolution of successful nursing programs, a dire need continues to exist for the discipline to foster the advancement of more academic nurse leaders from within the ranks of nurse faculty. Baccalaureate nursing school deans are essential in this development and are needed to foster positive, supportive, and intellectually rewarding work environments. As the current health care system demands more from the nursing workforce, nurse researchers must examine the evolution of the dean's role and develop a deeper understanding of the qualities and characteristics of effective leaders. Aim: The literature review presents a synthesis of published literature related to leadership within the academic deanship in nursing education, issues deans face, and proposed suggestions for the recruitment and retention of academic nurse leaders. Method: The framework for conducting the literature review was based on Polit & Beck (2012) guidelines for evaluating evidence. Approximately 225 articles related to the effectiveness of academic administrators, role preparation of deans and socializations of deans were reviewed. The publications were located utilizing the CINAHL, EBSCO Host, ERIC, and ProQuest online databases. Conclusion: Academic leadership in nursing requires careful reflection of the skill set needed to lead a dynamic workforce in a complex and challenging health care environment. Limited available research yielded few studies outlining the roles and responsibilities of the nursing dean. Further research is needed to identify how nursing deans evolve in their role and what role preparation and other experiences deans perceive as essential for becoming effective academic leaders.