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School of Nursing kicks off strategic planning process

Jul. 31, 2014, 8:52 AM

Cole Powers, DNP, center, and colleagues take part in a breakout group during last weekend’s Vanderbilt University School of Nursing strategic planning retreat. (photo by Joe Howell)

Nearly 200 Vanderbilt University School of Nursing faculty members took part in a special planning retreat last weekend, kicking off a six-month process to develop the school’s strategic vision.

“We are in the midst of a sea change in health care,” said VUSN Dean Linda Norman, DSN, R.N. “This will give us an opportunity to look at the current impact of the School of Nursing and the future needs for nursing research, scholarship, practice and education. In doing so, we will discover the things we may need to change and any new things we will need to initiate.”

The goal of the daylong strategic planning session was to introduce a framework for this work and to tackle the first goal — analyzing data about the current state of the school.

“In order to develop a comprehensive vision, we need to first understand our current efforts and how they work together. Today is about getting a picture of where we are and begin to explore where we need to be,” said Norman.

As a launching point and to ensure cohesiveness, Norman shared key components of the Vanderbilt University strategic mission. Marilyn Dubree, MSN, R.N., Executive Chief Nursing Officer, also described Medical Center Nursing’s strategic goals.

Presentations included feedback from an external point of view, gathered by the North Highland consulting group.

They presented findings from interviewed deans and senior leaders from other top nursing schools, current and potential employers of VUSN graduates, clinical preceptors/mentors of VUSN students and community partners such as public health departments and community-based clinics.

The senior associate deans for Academics, Research, Faculty and Community Partnerships and Informatics each provided detailed analytics of their specific areas, which included strengths as well as areas for improvement.

The afternoon was spent in breakout sessions, where faculty groups brainstormed the current state versus future needs in the areas of academics, research, practice, educational innovation, inter-professional activities, trans-institutional activities and relationship of VUSN to VUMC Nursing’s strategic initiatives.

“We have so many strengths and a wonderful team of faculty and staff who are truly dedicated to our students and to advancing nursing,” Norman said.

“Our nest steps will be to charter work groups to determine the areas that VUSN needs to improve and new areas that we need to develop.”

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