“It’s nice that you’re brilliant but, if you can’t pass it on, it’s for naught.” With those words, National League for Nursing Chief Executive Officer Beverly Malone, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., told the first cohort of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholars to find their voices, share their wisdom, and prepare to take their places as leaders in their fields.
Malone was among the leaders addressing the Nurse Faculty Scholars at the program’s annual leadership meeting in San Francisco in March, where these junior faculty members received training on a range of issues designed to strengthen their self-presentation skills as the next generation of academic nurse leaders. Malone is a member of the program’s National Advisory Committee.
The Honorable Shirley S. Chater, Ph.D., who served as United States Social Security Commissioner from 1993 to 1997, was an honored guest at the meeting, which also featured University of California San Francisco School of Nursing Dean and Professor Kathleen Dracup, R.N., D.N.Sc., F.N.P., F.A.A.N., and the San Francisco Chronicle’s Elizabeth Fernandez, among other distinguished experts.
Chater, a former president of Texas Woman’s University who has held senior leadership positions at University of California, San Francisco and the University of California, Berkeley, described the “core essentials” of leadership as strategic thinking, good communications skills, knowing oneself and putting together a team that has “all the competencies.” She urged the Scholars to know their values and let those values guide all their work. “Being a nurse has been extraordinarily helpful to me in everything I did,” Chater added. “I never stopped representing nursing—never, ever.”
In addition to hearing from Chater, Malone and other experts, the Nurse Faculty Scholars attended sessions on Communicating in the Face of Challenge, Representing Academic Nursing and Nursing Research to the Media, Communications and Leadership Skills in Committee Work, The Art of Resubmission: Proposals and Manuscripts, and more.
The Foundation gave each of the 15 nursing faculty selected for the program’s first cohort a three-year grant of up to $350,000 to help them advance as educators, scholars and researchers. Their research projects address a range of compelling issues including health disparities in high-poverty neighborhoods, post-partum sleep deprivation, self-management of Type II diabetes and chronic kidney disease, safety planning for survivors of domestic violence, and memory training intervention for breast cancer survivors. They also are working to become leaders and role models for those considering careers as nurse faculty as well as those already in the field.
“It was so exciting to reconnect with my fellow scholars, program officers, and members of the national advisory committees. I felt truly privileged to take part in the unique and thoughtfully designed leadership training,” said Nurse Faculty Scholar Ying Xue, D.N.Sc., R.N., Assistant Professor of Nursing, School of Nursing, University of Rochester, adding that she left the meeting “energized to strengthen my career development.”
“The Nurse Faculty Scholar meetings are a wonderful opportunity to re-charge on the basis of the insightful presentations, open and honest discussions, and the presence of excellent nurse leaders. Following a training session, I always return with great ideas and new insights to apply toward my career and personal goals,” agreed Nurse Faculty Scholar AkkeNeel Talsma, Ph.D., R.N., Assistant Professor of Nursing at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
To learn more about the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar program, please visit http://www.nursefacultyscholars.org/.