Leadership Program Addresses Nurse Faculty Retention

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INDIANAPOLIS―As universities reach the midpoint in this semester, the issue of nurse faculty retention is at the forefront. According to a 2011-2012 American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) report on enrollment and graduations in baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs, “U.S. nursing schools turned away more than 75,000 qualified applicants in 2011 due to insufficient number of faculty, clinical sites, classroom space, clinical preceptors and budget constraints.”

To address junior faculty attrition rates, the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) partnered with The Elsevier Foundation in 2009 to create the Nurse Faculty Mentored Leadership Development (NFMLD) pilot program. The primary objectives of the NFMLD program were to effectively transition new nurse educators into the faculty role and develop leadership knowledge that would improve the retention of those educators.

The 18-month pilot program included 15 new nurse faculty participants (in their positions less than five years), their mentors and seven faculty. These participants (Scholars) represented 28 universities and 16 states and provinces. A summary report was recently compiled, demonstrating the Scholars are true change agents. At the completion of the NFMLD experience, 100 percent of the participating Scholars reported that they accomplished their stated goals and objectives. Among these, Scholars said they: (1) developed new leadership and team-building behaviors and skills; (2) expanded their professional network; (3) increased their scope of influence; and (4) successfully designed a career development plan.

“Scholars participating in the NFMLD program produced many remarkable outcomes. During the 18-month NFMLD program, these 15 Scholars assumed 39 new leadership roles in their educational institutions, professional associations and their communities. Four NFMLD Scholars accepted new leadership positions or were promoted. During the NFMLD program, participating Scholars produced no less than 45 scholarly professional presentations. These included published scholarly papers, posters and presentations at professional conferences,” said NFMLD faculty advisor, Tony Forrester, PhD, RN, ANEF.

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