On-line version ISSN 1657-9534
Aim: The environment of the nursing program dean or director within a community college or state university can be politically, fiscally, and emotionally challenging. There are few studies that investigate that environment. The purpose of this study was to describe the major barriers and incentives facing these nursing deans or directors as they implemented their proposed interventions related to the Central Valley Nursing Diversity Project. Additionally, we sought to identify successful strategies used to keep the programs competitive for resources and status within their institutions and within their local communities. Methodology: The study is descriptive; the data collection method was structured interviews and data were analyzed using content analysis. Findings: Findings indicate that among the most difficult barriers faced by the directors and the faculty was the over subscribed status (more applicants than positions) of the programs. The deans or directors described three significant points that acted as barriers. These were 1) limited space in science laboratory pre-requisite courses, 2) limited classroom space in nursing courses, and 3) limited space in clinical (hospital) sites. The largest single external pressure reported was the reduction in funding and all deans or directors indicated they had difficulty hiring qualified or credentialed faculty. Conclusion: Colleges must manage more effectively student demand by modifying admissions criteria to be more selective and admit students with greater likelihood of graduating; encourage innovative partnerships between employers and schools of nursing; and increasing funding for nursing faculty salaries, classrooms, and laboratories.
Keywords : Nursing education; Nursing program; Nursing director; Nursing student.