Nurse Faculty Leadership Development: Prospects, Progress, and Perspectives
Slater, Larry Z.
Rodriguez, Karla G.
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Session presented on Saturday, July 23, 2016: The confluence of the nursing faculty shortage, faculty retirement, changing nursing students' demographics, and the demand to make nurses full partners in health care delivery have all highlighted the need for building greater capacity for nurse faculty leadership development. Academic nursing leadership demands unique knowledge, skills, and competencies not fully addressed in entry-level and advanced nursing education. The need to support and sustain faculty leadership development has been called for by nursing education stakeholders such as the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), National League for Nursing (NLN), Sigma Theta Tau international (STTI), and the Institute of Medicine (IOM). This presentation will discuss the leadership development of a diverse group of nursing faculty through their voluntary participation in a project team for the Nurse Faculty Leadership Academy (NFLA) sponsored by STTI. The exemplar illustrates a replicable 15-month leadership development program facilitated by a faculty lead. Discussion will focus on the individual and collective comparative data on the five domains of exemplary leadership (model the way, inspire a shared vision, challenge the process, enable others to act, and encourage the heart) measured by Kouzes and Posner's Leadership Practices Inventory. The group met biweekly to cultivate leadership competencies through working on the NFLA team project (developing a nursing honors program) while also participating in leadership discussions based on assigned readings from three leadership books: The Leadership Challenge, Crucial Conversations, and Crucial Accountability. The process and productivity-driven leadership development journal of six faculty members involved in the program have resulted in increased faculty collaboration and mentorship; scholarly manuscript publication and podium presentation; the conduct of a faculty and student needs assessment survey on a nursing honors program; and closer partnership with the administrative department within the college of nursing and the university at large. In addition, all participating faculty demonstrated marked increases in self-perception of leadership, based on the five Kouzes and Posner leadership domains as well as qualitative self-assessment of leadership growth. This experience has re-affirmed the participants' belief that faculty leadership development provides an avenue in facilitating personal leadership development, fostering academic career success, promoting nurse faculty retention and satisfaction, and cultivating high-performing and supportive work environments in academe.