Major Award for Master in Nursing Leadership Program
The 2014 Innovations in Professional Nursing Education Award will be presented during the AACN annual meeting later this month. The award recognizes the outstanding work of AACN member schools and supports them as they re-envision traditional models for nursing education.
Changes in the healthcare system, especially with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, require that healthcare leaders have diverse educational preparation. To meet that need, faculty in the School of Nursing re-examined the master’s curriculum with the aim of providing more opportunities for interdisciplinary education. Elective course offerings now allow students to consider courses in areas such as business, marketing, informatics, biotechnology, communication, and education. The curriculum re-design, support, and a follow-up study on outcomes are funded by a grant from the Kanarek Family Foundation.
“The Leadership MSN was designed to be flexible within the rapidly changing healthcare market, while meeting the updated national accreditation standards,” said Dr. Sally Gerard, program director. “It supports interprofessional education through use of the other disciplines on campus, all of which have talented faculty and highly qualified students.” Faculty from disciplines other than nursing teach or co-teach within the LEAD program.
“The selection process was very competitive so you and your faculty are to be highly commended,” noted Dr. Eileen Breslin, president of the AACN, in a letter to Dr. Gerard.
The LEAD program, which is operated in close collaboration with the Western Connecticut Health Network, enrolled its first class of 24 students in September 2013; A new class of approximately 35 students began in fall 2014.