Western University of Health Sciences College of Graduate Nursing (CGN) hosted a gathering of nurse leaders from clinical and academic organizations serving the Inland Empire recently. The purpose was to engage in dialogue about future directions in the educational preparation of nurse leaders and was spearheaded by Jan Boller, PhD, RN, Associate Professor and Director of Nursing Leadership Program.

The overwhelming consensus from the nurse leaders who attended the event on Oct. 1, 2010 was there needs to be more collaboration and opportunities of learning with physicians, optometrists, podiatrist, dieticians, respiratory therapists and other health care professionals.

“”Traditionally health care education has been separate learning experiences with their colleges and there is no learning together,’ said Boller. “”So when they graduate they don’t know how to talk with each other or work with each other. One of the reasons why health care is broken is because there are all these silos out there and they aren’t using each other’s talents.””

Boller and CGN faculty were able to boast about WesternU’s Interprofessional Education program that brings together students from nine campus disciplines to learn about other health care professions, revolutionizing medical education in the country.

CGN plans to use this information for redesign of their graduate nursing leadership curriculum and will also pursue external funding to support design and evaluation of a model for community-based academic/service collaborative education to prepare nurse leaders “”from the bedside to the board room to the community.””

The goal is that graduates of this redesigned model for leadership education will transform health care through highly effective leadership in providing safe, reliable, and accessible health care in the communities that they serve. Responding to several core questions, thought leaders shared their perspectives, provided their recommendations, and built consensus around nursing leadership education redesign.

“”I’m glad to be at the table representing ACNL (Association of California Nurse Leaders) because it’s important that we develop, educate, coach and mentor our future nurse leaders.”” said Beth Gardner, President Elect, ACNL. “”What I really like is the diverse perspective that everyone is bringing to the table then offered back to ACNL and that will help shape our strategic initiatives for next year.””