Academic journal article Nursing Education Perspectives

Some Assembly Required

Academic journal article Nursing Education Perspectives

Some Assembly Required

Article excerpt

Because the future is where we are all going to spend the rest of our lives, it makes sense to be intentional in thinking about and planning for the days ahead. Now most of us, when we see the words "some assembly required," react with a degree of panic, particularly when it's close to the holidays, and we hope to surprise a child with a wonderful, functioning toy. So I hope you will not panic as you read this message but will be thankful for the reminder that serious relationship building must be given attention by design - with some assembly required.

It is important first to adjust our expectations. Simply establishing rules and holding everyone to the same rules is not a viable answer. After all, we do not all start out on our academic journeys at the same place developmentally. That is why goal setting, whether personal or organizational, inevitably makes its way into our discussions.

We do know that all faculty want the same things: to feel valued, to be visible, to have community, to be invested in their work, and to have trust. With that in mind, I believe the message is clear. As educators, we must acknowledge honestly that many parts of the academic progression process are wrought with subjectivity. It matters who comprises the membership of career-altering committees. It matters that recruitment and hiring practices are equitable.

Something else that matters tremendously is mentoring and coaching. The display of civility is never more apparent than when our processes demonstrate care for making the conditions for another's life better.

It is said in a blog from the Advisory Board that the best practices are "the ones that are working for you." My hope is that all nursing programs will work toward having a diverse cadre of faculty by keeping our work transparent and fair. Remember, faculty hire and promote faculty and also admit students. We all have biases and must intentionally do all that we can to keep them at bay. With these thoughts in mind, I offer a nonexhaustive list for jumpstarting your thinking and actions with regard to the onboarding of new employees, the admission of students, and the mentorship and coaching that will help all succeed.

1. Rules of engagement are mutually set by the mentor and mentee for clear agenda setting and establishment of expectations. …

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