National League of NursingNational League of Nursing

The Voice of Nursing Education


January 6 - Ways to Lead in Nursing Education

NLN Member Update
header XIX, Issue Number 21

January 6, 2015
bevphoto Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to 2016. I hope your holidays were restful and pleasant. I know that for some of us the holidays were challenging. For example, with parts of the United States experiencing extreme flooding, I extend warm thoughts of resilience for colleagues who may have been and are still being affected. Let’s look forward to a safe and healthy year for us all.

I’ve heard a rumor that many of us start the new year with resolutions to engage in self-improvement. I have a suggestion along those lines that does not involve joining a gym. Rather, I hope you will join with the NLN in taking steps toward nursing education leadership. Working with and for the NLN will definitely use up the calories.

The experts say that for resolutions to be successful, they should be specific and attainable. These ideas should work for all our members – those of you who have already contributed to nursing education in sustained and significant ways and those taking first steps toward leadership.

Let us suppose you have program knowledge relevant to the NLN, strong communications skills, and management, financial, marketing/public relations, or other leadership experience – you have the potential to be a fantastic leader for the NLN. We are now seeking strong candidates for the NLN Board of Governors (secretary), the Nominations Committee, the Strategic Steering Committee, and the NLN Certification Committee – with the deadline for nominations on January 15 – just around the corner. Please step up to the plate. The League needs your wisdom and expertise, and you may need the League to fulfill some of your leadership dreams and visions.

Now let’s suppose you are a seasoned educator whose contributions to nursing education have been enduring and substantial. For you, now is the time to apply for membership in the NLN Academy of Nursing Education. As a fellow, you will be expected to provide visionary leadership in nursing education and continue to influence change in our beloved profession. I believe strongly that it is important to let others celebrate our work and that there is inherent value in recognition, elevating the role of nurse educator, nurse leader, servant leader. Applications are due February 15.

Lastly, let’s suppose you wish to hone your leadership skills as you face challenges in your efforts to change the culture of your work environment. (Sorry, the same working environment you left before the holidays – it’s still there.) You will definitely want to take part in the 2016 Leadership Conference, “Interprofessional Practice: Co-creating Transformative Environments.” Scheduled for February 4-6 at the Emory Conference Center Hotel in Atlanta, this conference presents a unique opportunity to engage in critical conversations about the challenges and rewards of leading collaborative practices among faculty and with colleagues in the practice environment.

The NLN will soon release A Vision for Interprofessional Collaboration in Education and Practice. This NLN Living Document is a call to action to work with peers in other professions to provide students with learning opportunities that acknowledge a profoundly changed health care environment. The statement contains recommendations for deans, directors, and nursing department chairs, for nurse faculty, and for the NLN. We will also offer a toolkit titled “Guide to Effective Interprofessional Education Experiences in Nursing Education” that will help schools infuse a culture of collaboration and patient-centeredness into the institution. With detailed guides for IPE activities for a variety of nursing education environments, this toolkit will require a coordinated interprofessional approach and present new opportunities for you as a nurse educator.

The NLN Leadership Conference, with its experienced speakers and well thought-out agenda, is designed to help you take a leadership role in the challenging environment of interprofessional education. Our keynote speaker is Malcolm Cox, MD, an adjunct professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and former chief academic affiliations officer for the US Department of Veterans Affairs. In his position at the VA, Dr. Cox oversaw the largest health professions training program in the country and repositioned the VA as a major voice in clinical workforce reform, educational innovation, and organizational transformation. He will explore how new models of clinical education, faculty development for teaching, and innovation in clinical practice support the integration of educational reform and the redesign of health care delivery to meet societal needs. The other speakers are equally outstanding. Don't miss the opportunity to be part of this conference – registration fees will increase on Friday, January 8.

To start today on your journey as a nursing education leader, there is one more step I can recommend. View the Betty Irene Moore Lessons in Leadership Speaker Series, which features video presentations by nationally recognized leaders in nursing and health care on what makes an effective leader and the leadership qualities that are most valuable for nurses to develop as they seek to deliver outstanding patient care in hospitals and other settings. I know you will find these presentations stimulating and will want to share them with your students. After all, in today’s challenging health care environment, the education of nurse leaders is of paramount importance.

As nurse educators, we are the models that our students emulate. Students look to us to demonstrate leadership and the NLN core values of caring, integrity, diversity, and excellence. In December the Gallup organization announced that for the 14th year in a row, nursing has been rated the most trusted profession. That is a wonderful tribute but we cannot rest on our laurels. Join with the NLN to be the best nurse leader, the best educator you can be.

Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN
Chief Executive Officer