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  • Developing leaders at the College of Nursing

    Author: HealthTimes

Inspired leadership and effective management are vital at this critical time in the delivery of health services. Nursing and Midwifery leaders and managers are at the forefront of health service delivery. Nurse leaders and managers juggle bed block, high patient acuity, staff shortages and media scrutiny.  Keeping services viable demands the education, training and support of nursing’s leaders. The College of Nursing recognises the pivotal role of nurse leaders in promoting and delivering health care and endeavours to provide support through membership services and education.
The College of Nursing has always been actively involved in supporting nurse leaders and managers: through the Emerging Nurse Leader program, membership and professional events, through leadership and management short courses and the Graduate Certificate in Clinical Management.                                               
Course content and curriculum development at the College is heavily informed by industry consultation along with feedback from participants/ students.

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Short courses

Our short courses cover topics such as team building, leadership, quality, performance development, financial management, strategic planning, working with consumers, employment law and workforce development. These issues remain vital for managers and leaders that directly facilitate the delivery of health services in hospitals and the community.
What do practising nurse leaders tell us about the short courses?
In April 2008, The College sought additional feedback from past participants of N & MUM short courses through a follow-up survey. The online survey asked about the participant’s experience of the course and their professional development and application to practice: 38 of 139 surveys were completed (a 27 % response rate). An overwhelming number of the participants, 35 out of 36, found the course useful.
Participants were asked how the course helped them as a manager. Seventy percent of the participants said they would be interested in undertaking further study in nursing management.
The results confirm that clinical nurse leaders are enthusiastic about leadership and management education. This survey showed they appreciated support in developing communication, leadership, teambuilding and people skills to build a positive workplace culture. Strong positive feedback was also received from strategic planning and financial management sessions.

What do the course presenters tell us?

Melanie Wass, Director, Natural consulting
‘This is a robust and comprehensive program for managers, and I run a lot of management training!’
Ilze Jauberdins, Principal, HeartLogic
‘This course provides a comprehensive set of core skills to be an effective manager – that is why I believe it is so popular.  It provides the theory and practical tools for immediate application in the workplace and this builds confidence in leadership and management practices.’
Walter de Ruyter, Nursing Workforce Manager, Southern Hospital Network, SESIH
‘A fundamental underpinning of making the Nurse Unit Management course such a success has been to share the knowledge of experienced health managers with student N& MUM’s in a classroom setting. In attending an external course the student N & MUM is able to establish a collegial network with likeminded managers. These relationships built on common challenges results in the sharing of innovation in management practices that go beyond the boundaries of their current work environment. The ability to achieve this outcome is due to the sharing of knowledge derived from management theory which has been tested in a vocational setting.’

Graduate Certificate in clinical management

The College Graduate Certificate in clinical management seeks to deepen theoretical knowledge whilst supporting students to immediately use the knowledge to develop skills in practice. Assessments are designed to be immediately applicable to the workplace.
This foundational management course consists of four subjects studied by distance education. The subjects provide a solid core of management knowledge and encourage the practice of leadership. The subjects are: Introductory health care management, Human resource management, Financial management and Quality in action.
Teaching and learning strategies include distance education packages, online discussion forums and assessments designed as ‘work projects’.
The College has introduced the CNnect learning platform providing a ‘virtual classroom’: expanding teaching and learning strategies and interaction between students and educators.

What do students from the Graduate Certificate in clinical management tell us?

Students completing the Graduate Certificate in clinical management are invited to complete The College of Nursing Student Course Experience Questionnaire (SCEQ). This questionnaire is based upon items included in the nationally administered Course Experience Questionnaire (CEQ).
The response rate to the SCEQ was 18 students from the Graduate Certificate in clinical management completed in June 2008, a 35% response rate.  The SCEQ clusters responses into the categories described in Figure 2. The graph shows the percentage of students that broadly agree (agree and strongly agree) with each cluster. In questions about overall satisfaction with the course, 89% of students showed broad agreement.

The practical nature of the course is highlighted by individual students’ comments, as follows.

Chris Sulfaro – Acting NUM 2.
‘The on campus study days were beneficial in ensuring I understood the course requirements and was 'on the right track' with assignments.
The online discussions were helpful, as you got so many different points of view from everyone responding, that you had a better understanding of the overall picture.
So while the course was a heavy workload and at times I wondered if I would successfully complete it, I am extremely thankful that I did, and for all the help and assistance I received during the 12 months.’
Nicky Brankin- NUM 1
‘In July 2007 I decided at the last minute to do the College Graduate Certificate in Clinical Management. I found the course interesting despite being a lot of work.I completed the Certificate in June. This gave me the confidence to apply for management positions. Recently I began a new career in management as a NUM I. The year of study was well worth the effort and the reward of a new career in management.’

Future Directions

The College of Nursing understands the demands of current health care delivery and the expanding role and multiple skills required by Nursing and Midwifery Managers. By offering both short courses and the Graduate Certificate in Clinical Management, the College is offering immediate support and consolidation and career pathways for new managers.
As part of our vision of creating nursing’s future, the College of Nursing will continue to provide educational experiences that instil confidence, knowledge and skills as defined by our Graduate Outcomes.
Place the graphic of the Graduate Outcomes here.
Through a community of learning, students enrich the College whilst the College seeks to inspire and replenish the souls of hard working Nursing and Midwifery Managers and clinical leaders.


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