Today’s nurse educator has transitioned from dealing with patients to dealing with students and patients. While the ultimate goal, helping patients is the same, the environment and manner in which these nurses do it is very different. In the current quarterly publication, Reflections on Nurse Leadership, Tom Reller, Vice President and Head of Global Corporate Relations at Elsevier, discusses teaming up with Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) to pay it forward for the future of nursing and health care.
According to a report by the American Association of Colleges of Nurses, U.S. nursing schools turned away 75,587 qualified applicants from baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs in 2010, in part due to insufficient members of faculty, clinical sites and clinical preceptors. After surveying nursing schools, almost two-thirds pointed to faculty shortage as a reason for not accepting all qualified applicants.
Effect on nurses
Currently too many new nurse faculty members find the transition to academic life overly challenging and leave the profession after two to five years. Yet if schools can get their new faculty members over the five-year hurdle, they remain.
Resolving nursing shortage
In 2008, The Elsevier Foundation teamed with the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International, to develop a program that honed in on this critical-hurdle phase. From that partnership, the Nurse Faculty Leadership Academy (NFLA) was formed.
The NFLA experience is built upon pairing a new nurse faculty member (scholar) with a seasoned faculty member (mentor) from another school and, together, they undertake a 22-month leadership development journey. So far, 31 faculty scholars and 31 leadership mentors from 57 universities, four countries, 21 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces have participated in the academy.
Results of NFLA
The good news is that the program has paid off so far. All participants from the cohort remain nurse faculty, and even though the program cannot touch every nurse faulty member, it has a true ‘pay-it-forward’ feel.
Read more about on the Elsevier Foundation’s Nurse Faculty Leadership Academy in ‘Reflections on Nurse Leadership.’