Blog

Online Learning: Creating a Caring Environment that Encourages Critical Thinking

By Susan Sportsman, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN

The impact of the coronavirus is being felt everywhere.  As I write this, schools, colleges, and universities across the country are temporarily closed and planning to move classes to online instruction when they reopen. For faculty in nursing programs, this directive is manageable, as many face-to-face courses involve some level of interaction online. However, as I talk to faculty from across the country, I hear concerns regarding the loss of a caring learning environment among students and faculty in courses delivered only online. I also hear concerns that implementing teaching-learning strategies to stimulate critical thinking is more difficult in an online environment that in face-to-face instruction. Perhaps during this national emergency it would be helpful for all of us to think about “best practices” for online instruction, particularly those that involve creating a caring environment that encourages critical thinking. Continue reading “Online Learning: Creating a Caring Environment that Encourages Critical Thinking”

Student Strategies to Get the Most Out of an Online Class

By Susan Sportsman, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN

Online courses provide you the convenience of being able to learn whenever, wherever, and however works best for you. However, challenges often arise in online education, which require student preparation to ensure success. Develop the following skills to flourish in online education. Continue reading “Student Strategies to Get the Most Out of an Online Class”

NGN-Style Questions—What Should We Do Now?

By Susan Sportsman PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN

 The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) recently posted on their website five types of questions that they will include as part of the Next Generation NCLEX (NGN) test revision. While the NCSBN intends to continue to use the multiple-choice test format which currently makes up a significant portion of the NCLEX exam, other types of test items will also be included. Continue reading “NGN-Style Questions—What Should We Do Now?”

The Case for Courageous Leadership

by Susan Sportsman, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN and Cathy Converse

“Courage is the first of human qualities because it’s the quality that guarantees the others.” –Aristotle

 Introduction

Leadership is on the hearts and minds of most of us as we navigate the complexities of our personal and professional lives. Although volumes have been written about effective leadership using a variety of perspectives, the need for courage in times of conflict and discord, particularly in situations of perceived high risk, seems particularly relevant. Few environments represent higher risk than health care. Continue reading “The Case for Courageous Leadership”

Coping with Change in a Multigenerational Context

by Susan Sportsman, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN

We would all agree that change in our world continues to escalate. Change impacts every aspect of our lives, including our work environments. One factor that complicates our response to change in the workplace is the number of generations represented by employees. Colleagues who grew up in different times often see the world through a different lens, which may lead to conflict. As multiple generations attempt to address challenges of change, different perceptions of the best way forward can complicate planning and decision-making. Continue reading “Coping with Change in a Multigenerational Context”

Courageous Leadership: A Construct Important for Nursing Educators

By Susan Sportsman, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN and Cathy Converse

We recently had the opportunity to give a presentation about our work on Courageous Leadership at the 2019 National League for Nurses (NLN) Summit.  Stimulated by our interest in helping nurses and others effectively navigate the organizations in which they work, we explored the health care and business literature to evaluate others’ ideas of the relationship between courage and leadership. Continue reading “Courageous Leadership: A Construct Important for Nursing Educators”

Empowerment

By Cathy Converse

I am one of the lucky ones. Very early in my career when I had a relatively low-level job, my boss gave me responsibility for all sorts of things that were well beyond my “pay-grade.” Assigned to the most important products in our division, I was making decisions and managing resources and timelines that had a big impact on our success or failure. Being given this kind of authority was exhilarating—and a bit terrifying: I was 23 and just one year out of college. It was stressful, but it made a big difference in my career and I am forever grateful for the opportunity. Continue reading “Empowerment”

Risk-taking: The Heart of Courageous Leadership

By Susan Sportsman, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN

Collaborative Momentum Consulting defines courageous leadership as “the heart to step up front and transform vision into reality.” Courage is required for us to “step up” to lead—often in uncomfortable or risky situations. Addressing these situations requires the leader to be a calculated risk-taker—someone who not only takes risks, but encourages others to walk a similar path. The risk-taker accepts the possibility of failure and despite this potential, encourages innovation, creativity, and change in themselves and others. Continue reading “Risk-taking: The Heart of Courageous Leadership”

Communication

By Cathy Converse

Consider two organizations, each with a new president. The first one came in at a time of serious upheaval in the organization and the industry, with multiple issues that required her immediate attention. Many changes were needed to put the company back on course, which put employees on edge. Morale was already low, and this president could reasonably have expected to have a tough time accomplishing all that needed to be done. But she clarified her vision and shared it with all employees in both large and small groups. In fact, the employees would often laugh about often she brought up mission and priorities, which by now they could recite from memory. Continue reading “Communication”

Self-Awareness

By Susan Sportsman, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN

 We have all had one of “those” days. Your spouse suggests you forgot to pay a bill for which you were responsible just as you are leaving to take the kids to school on your way to work. Your drive included several major traffic jams which made you late for your first meeting of the day.  Your kid left her homework in your car and phoned to ask you to bring it to her school. (Why does she think you can leave work in the middle of the day?)  Now you are in a planning meeting and your team is resistant to a new idea that you believe will improve everyone’s work productivity. As the leader, what is your reaction to the negative input of most of your team? Continue reading “Self-Awareness”