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A strengths approach to fostering the sustainability of Canadian undergraduate nursing education partnerships

Pamela M Nordstrom, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

At the beginning of the 21st century, collaborative nursing programs predominate the Canadian higher education scene. These programs are a genre of interorganizational partnerships in higher education. Fiscal incentives, student and government expectations for accessibility to higher education, legislation and a professional mandate that the baccalaureate nursing degree be declared the minimal preparation for nursing practice are motivators for Canadian universities and colleges to create interorganizational partnerships. Institutions incur substantial costs when partnerships dissolve, including the societal costs of failing to graduate the number of nurses necessary to deliver health care to Canadians. Thus, the sustainability of nursing education programs is important to Canadians. ^ Nursing education administrators play a significant role in the leadership of these partnerships. These are complex interorganizational relationships that require the leader to attend to the human element, in addition to other administrative aspects. Nursing leaders use metaphors of families to describe the relationships inherent in these partnerships. The Family Strengths model (Stinnett & DeFrain, 1985) provides a lens from which to view these relational interactions. ^ The purpose of this study was to identify relational factors that foster the sustainability of Canadian nursing education partnerships. The design sequentially integrated two interviews and a web-based survey of the entire population of Anglophone Canadian Schools of Nursing (N = 78). Results of the study indicated that nurse education administrators of strong partnerships list at least six factors that contribute to sustainable education partnerships: commitment, communication, successful management of crises, appreciation, enjoyable time together and well-being. The most important relational factors that foster sustainability are commitment to the partnership, communicating positively and showing appreciation for each of the partners. There was no level of association between the six factors and nurse education administrators' expectations for sustainability of their partnerships. Strong leaders of strong collaborative nursing education partnerships identified activities they believe foster sustainable partnerships. The results of the study offer nurse education administrators a strength-oriented approach to fostering the sustainability of interorganizational partnerships. ^

Subject Area

Health Sciences, Education|Health Sciences, Nursing|Education, Higher

Recommended Citation

Nordstrom, Pamela M, "A strengths approach to fostering the sustainability of Canadian undergraduate nursing education partnerships" (2003). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3116598.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI3116598

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