Academic journal article ABNF Journal

Passion, Resilience, and Caring: Voices of African American Nursing Faculty in Higher Education

Academic journal article ABNF Journal

Passion, Resilience, and Caring: Voices of African American Nursing Faculty in Higher Education

Article excerpt

During the past twelve months, I have had the pleasure of serving as President of the Association of Black Nursing Faculty, Inc. (ABNF). A critical aspect of leadership is being responsive to the aspirations and hopes of the membership that relate to the mission of the organization. Therefore, I started a listening journey as I communicated with each member. One key question guided my inquiry as I listened to the voices of African American nursing faculty members across the United States. My question, what does it mean to be an African American nurse faculty member in higher education in the twenty-first century, elicited many responses. Three dominate themes that emerged were: passion, resilience, and caring.

First, faculty members expressed a sincere passion for both teaching and quality healthcare services for all people. In teaching, faculty members focused on student achievement and fostering environments and relationships that facilitated learning. For instance, faculty members are engaged in mentoring students towards greatness as future leaders. The time spent with students greatly exceeded the departmental and university requirements. Yet, faculty members were energized by the idea of assuring that the next generation of professional nurses are well prepared to meet healthcare needs of our most vulnerable populations.

Secondly, although faculty members grapple with disparities in teaching workload assignments that potentially jeopardize their time for scholarship and negatively impact their opportunity for promotion and tenure, they press onward working against great odds. Successful faculty members network with other faculty and elicit sources of support from their families and spiritual connections in their communities. …

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