Nursing Shortage = Faculty Shortage?
by, 12-07-2008 at 11:50 PM (4583 Views)
Welcome to my blog! I’ll be blogging every Monday about what I’m seeing and hearing in the nursing world. I’d love to hear your thoughts. As editorial director of NurseWeek magazine in the California and Mountain West regions I’m interested in hearing what is important to you.
Many people want to be nurses now—we just don’t have enough space in nursing schools. And the main bottleneck seems to be faculty shortage.This week I joined a group of about 40 expert nurse leaders at Shriner’s Hospital in Sacramento. In her opening remarks, Jan Boller, PhD, RN, tasked the group with creating a “bold, pragmatic, short-term action plan to resolve the faculty shortage in California.”
Before breaking into small discussion groups,.Dr. Boller who is Associate Professor at the College of Graduate Nursing, Western University of Health Sciences,briefed the participants in state-of-the-art group brainstorming modalities including ‘World Café’. (www.theworldcafe.com). The small group discussion tables were festooned with play dough, crayons, markers and mini candies to encourage multiple intelligences (mind, body, spirit, heart, creative). A “talking stick” was passed as each person spoke. This Native American tradition inspires respect and encourages deep listening while discouraging interruptions. The “sticks” we used were confetti-filled plastic magic wands. After the conference Dr. Boller shared her beliefs about the process in an email message to me: “It's impossible to be an expert without the imagination to see possibilities that are not immediately evident. So play and art will always be in my classrooms and work environments.” She also said the ultimate purpose of the World Café is to “create conditions for deep dialogue for better solutions.” I visited the World Cafe website and found it very exciting. I'd like to try the process with the groups I work with.
At the conference the idea-generating, mini think tanks were organized around five focus areas:Salary and Funding of Faculty Positions ,Recruitment and Policy / Hiring Constraints, Work Environment Changing How We Teach and Educating Faculty. The participants had been given a compilation of background materials related to each area so that the discussions jumped off at a very high level. They were asked to identify priority issues and actions. I thought the group sessions were rich and deep in knowledge, experience and creativity.
In my next post I’ll talk about the priority issues and action steps that came out of this fascinating process and how the information will be used to create change and forward motion in solving the faculty shortage.