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Mentoring new nurse faculty

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Sigma Theta Tau, the international honor society of nursing, has established a new mentoring program designed to support the development of nurse faculty. The 2010-11 Nurse Faculty Mentored Leadership Development (NFMLD) program kicked off this month with 30 participants representing 16 states and 28 universities.

Sigma Theta Tau officials hope the program will help alleviate the current nurse faculty shortage by “nurturing new nurse educators as they acclimate to the role within their institutions.” In 2009, a total of 554 nursing schools reported 803 faculty vacancies — and indicated a need for 279 additional faculty members due to student demand. The nurse faculty shortage caused nursing schools to turn away almost 50,000 qualified applicants in 2008.

Research shows that nurse educators who work with mentors report increased job satisfaction and are more effective in their careers. With support, they’re more likely to stay on the job and encourage future nurses and nurse educators.

The NFMLD program includes face-to-face meetings, completion of an intense leadership curriculum and the development of projects to increase educational outcomes.

Do you think the new program will make a difference? Why or why not?

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Jennifer Fink, RN, BSN

Jennifer is a professional freelance writer with over eight years experience as a hospital nurse. She has clinical experience in adult health, including med-surg, geriatrics and transplant; she also has a particular interest in women’s health and cancer care. Jennifer has written a variety of health and parenting articles for national publications.

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