Title : Threading service throughout a baccalaureate nursing curriculum to create today's nurse leaders
The Institute of Medicine’s 2010 report The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health contained several key recommendations for transforming the nursing profession. Key Message #3 stated that “Nurses should be full partners, with physicians and other health professionals, in redesigning health care in the United States.” Strong leadership within the nursing profession is vital if we are to be full partners, yet traditionally the majority of nurse leaders have emerged from clinical roles—without the benefit of leadership education or practice. Nursing is a service profession; many individuals are drawn to the profession because they have a heart to serve. One baccalaureate education model has adopted service as its core value from which leadership is developed. Students engage in service to their peers, their college, their communities, and beyond with progressively greater responsibilities. These service opportunities include mentoring underclassmen in the Clinical Resource Center; sponsoring a blood and bone marrow drive on campus; delivering health education workshops at the region’s free medical clinic; and providing nursing care on a global medical mission. Each opportunity is a collaborative effort with other healthcare disciplines, and students take on progressively greater leadership roles. Outcomes have been extremely promising, with students demonstrating excellent leadership competencies and voicing confidence in their abilities to take on future roles as nurse leaders.