Perspectives from the Field: Bringing Nurse Leaders into the Classroom

By Sortedahl, Charlotte K.; Imhoff, Hannah | Nursing Education Perspectives, March-April 2016 | Go to article overview

Perspectives from the Field: Bringing Nurse Leaders into the Classroom


Sortedahl, Charlotte K., Imhoff, Hannah, Nursing Education Perspectives


Abstract

Leadership is a vital component of nurses' careers and baccalaureate nursing programs are required to include leadership competencies in undergraduate nursing education. To design learning experiences that emphasize professional identity formation, nurse leaders were invited as guest speakers in a senior-level didactic leadership course, but scheduling often interfered with participation. To inspire students and maximize nurse leaders' time, recorded video was investigated as a solution. Following videotaped interviews with nurse leaders, a 10-minute video was produced and shown to students in a nursing leadership course. The video project was evaluated for feasibility, cost-effectiveness, and usefulness as an instructional tool for empowering nursing students.

KEY WORDS Nurse Leaders--Nursing Students--Professional Identity--Videorecorded Lectures

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Leadership is vital to nurses' professional careers. The Institute of Medicine (2011) has called for nurses to be prepared at all levels to serve as leaders in the provision of high quality care in complex health care environments. Benner, Sutphen, Leonard, and Day (2010) assert that educators need to design learning experiences in which students gain insight into what it means to be a nurse and emphasize the formation of professional identity in the formal curriculum.

Throughout the curriculum of our baccalaureate nursing program, located at a medium-sized public university, nurse experts are invited to speak in the classroom. Faculty have received anecdotal feedback that students appreciate guest speakers, while guests have noted it is a professional responsibility to share their expertise. However, multiple barriers, including scheduling conflicts, unpredictable weather, and limited parking, have limited nurse leaders' participation as guest speakers in a required senior-level didactic leadership course.

Various tools have been considered as a way to avoid these barriers. For example, live conferencing tools were considered but were dismissed because they require technical support, knowledgeable users, and compatible systems. Moreover, live conferencing does not eliminate scheduling conflicts and can be unwieldy for multiple guests. We then investigated recorded videos as a technological solution. However, while searching for existing media, it became apparent that nurse leaders were not represented, and nothing was commercially or freely available.

Our solution was to produce and evaluate the production and use of a nursing leadership video as an instructional method for undergraduate BSN nursing students. Our goals were as follows:

* Videotape semistructured interviews of four nurse leaders in which they talk about leadership concepts and describe the professional behaviors that nursing students and new nurses should possess.

* Create one 10-minute video.

* Use the video in the classroom.

* Survey students.

* Examine benefits, challenges, and costs.

THE VIDEO PROJECT

After obtaining approval from the university's institutional review board, we recruited eight hospital nurse leaders in the Midwest to be interviewed by students. Of this group, two chief nursing officers, one unit manager, and one nurse placement coordinator chose to participate. The campus research office funded two nursing students to work under faculty direction to formulate interview questions, mail the questions in advance of the interview, travel to interview the nurse leaders at their workplaces, and videotape the 30-minute semistructured interviews.

From the interviews, the students created one 10-minute video using high quality video recording and editing equipment provided by the technology department. Two student researchers, selected through a competitive process, participated throughout the process to create a product that was appropriate for and understandable by students. …

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