The Persona: Dean, School of Nursing

=Position: Mary Rodgers, Dean, School of Nursing

Location: Middle America, USA

My Background & Role

I became the dean of the school of nursing in a large private university 7 years ago. I am accountable to the president and the Board of Trustees. I am expected to work collaboratively with the deans of all the other health science schools, since we share many resources. I am expected to spend my time tending to my administrative role, but I must also be very visible outside of the university, both in the community and nationally, since visibility increases the chance of donations and gifts to the school. I am expected to bring in grant funds to supplement funding as well as embark on new and innovative projects that raise the visibility and status of our school.

My Focus, What Is Of Value To Me, And How I Am Evaluated

I need to maintain a national reputation for excellence of our school while working within a budget that is tuition driven. Recently it has become increasingly more difficult to find clinical placements for our students related to changes in the healthcare environment and competition from community colleges The community college graduates tend to seek employment in the local community, while our students come from across the country and few stay in the area after graduation.

We also experienced a drop in NCLEX pass rates this year. I believe it is only temporary due to the change in the revised exam, but our president is concerned and wants to know what we are doing to increase the pass rate next year.

I heard about the unfortunate incident at XYZ hospital from some of the staff members there. I want to be sure that our graduates are prepared to speak up when they are concerned about patient safety. I have read the NCSBN study and think it might be useful to incorporate more simulation into our program both to address our clinical placement problem and to teach good communication across disciplines. We have several simulation champions among our faculty who may be able to devise a plan to expand simulation.

The Decision Maker: Dean, School of Nursing

Typical value domains of those who function in the role of dean are

  • Educational Effectiveness –Simulation can accomplish what other interventions did not. For the SON dean, this evidence would also be compelling.
  • Educational Efficiency – Simulation can reduce the time it takes to achieve an educational outcome. For SON dean, this evidence would also be compelling. Could also talk about how inefficient clinical experience in the hospital is for students. Since instructors can only be with one student at a time, there is much down time for students. This is documented in NLN’s clinical education study. The culture of safety in hospitals has also led to restrictions on what students can do independently in clinical. With simulation students may practice restricted activities and demonstrate competency and perhaps in the future hospitals will ease restrictions.
  • Resource Management – The more prepared students are in simulation the less complex the oversight during clinical placements.
  • Patient Safety – Simulation can reduce the number of patient safety events. Directly related to SON dean’s goal.
  • Quality of Care – When a school produces graduates who are known for delivering a high quality of care, the status of the school is enhanced. When a hospital is recognized for delivering high quality care, consumers will choose that hospital (and the health care providers who are associated with that hospital) for their care.
  • Scholarship/Research – There is a great deal of interest in simulation research, especially its relationship to patient outcomes. Results are reported in prestigious journals and in public media. Well executed research elevates the status of an institution.

Strategic Approach/Messaging to the Dean

  • Use your knowledge of the dean and the institution to customize your message and select the metrics that indicate how the resources needed for the project will be offset by its benefits/outcomes.
  • Review the case-based scenarios on the website [insert link] to identify one or more that is similar to yours. Customize and use it as a successful example.
  • Select the value domains that you believe are a match for those of the dean and rank order them. Review the messages associated with those value domains.
  • Begin with how your proposal aligns with the mission of the institution and any short or long terms goals you are aware of.
  • If the dean is not familiar with the benefits of simulation, integrate relevant advantages of simulation into your proposal. Consider selecting some seminal articles from the resource list [insert link] and providing copies as supplemental material.
  • If you intend to apply for grant funds to support all or part of your proposal, include information about the grant, and include the time and resources you will need to prepare it.
  • Review the presentations and PowerPoints [provide link to that section] to see if any of them might help you prepare your own presentation.