Academic journal article Nursing Education Perspectives

Rethinking the Future of Nursing

Academic journal article Nursing Education Perspectives

Rethinking the Future of Nursing

Article excerpt

AS A GIFT FOR NURSES WEEK, one of my colleagues gave me an autographed copy of the best-selling management and leadership book, Rethinking the Future, edited by Rowan Gibson, copyright 1996. Based on the copyright date, you will undoubtedly conclude that the ideas Gibson presents are not new. Rather, they are ideas that have been tried and tested, and they are as relevant today as they were in the 1990s. The opinions of leaders in futuristic thought are all there, including Toffler, Naisbitt, Senge, Porter, Covey, and Bennis.

When I first read this book, shortly after I completed my MBA education, I was steeped in leadership and management theories. As I reread it, my response was broader and, at the same time, more goal directed. The book made me appreciate the theme of the upcoming NLN Education Summit, "Recreating Nursing Education." And, of course, it made me hopeful that collectively, NLN members and Summit attendees, in our recreation process (pun intended), will rethink the future of nursing education.

So, what tips does Gibson offer from the management gurus?

One of my favorites has always been Warren Bennis. Like many of my colleagues, what I learned in my graduate nursing education days was heavily influenced by Bennis's theories about change. Indeed, in our nursing education careers, we have helped cement change theory into our understandings of human behavior and nursing care. It is important to note that one of the NLN Core Competencies for Nurse Educators45 is to "function as a change agent and leader," a competency derived from Bennis's theory of leadership.

Bennis's chapter in Gibson's book is titled "Becoming a Leader of Leaders." This title is particularly relevant to nurse educators by virtue of our role in shaping tomorrow's generation of nurses. Bennis describes leaders of the future as having a strongly defined sense of purpose; the capacity to clearly articulate a vision with meaning, as a vision that is shared; the ability to live the vision, day in and day out; willingness to take risks, and the ability to generate trust (pp. …

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