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(Feldman & Greenberg, 2005, p. 67) Staffing coordinators, often nurse leaders must seek to give priority to educational needs as a reason for adjusting and/or making schedules for staff, including offering incentives to staff not currently seeking educational goals for assisting in this priority regardless of the implementation of a tuition reimbursement program. (Feldman & Greenberg, 2005, p. 233)
Nurse Leaders as Academic Theorists
The fact that many nurse leaders serve as the fundamental sources for new and emerging nursing paradigms and theories cannot be ignored in this review. The theories associated with nursing are as diverse as nurses themselves and serve several purposes. With regard to nurse recruitment and the role that nursing theory and paradigm plays in it, nurse leaders serve to espouse theory through mentorship and training that helps individuals see their future intrinsic role in nursing. To explain this role a brief discussion of nursing theory will be conducted in this review of literature.
One of the most fascinating nursing theories that I have encountered as a student of nursing is that of Neuman. The literature associated both with defining the Neuman model and well as how it is applied in the modern illuminates the student to better understand the intimate as well as the global aspects of the system. The fascination, as a student is no doubt associated with the idea that the nursing model demonstrates an acknowledgement of not only the importance of balance within the patient's body and life but in the system itself. Additionally the theory or as Neuman states, "system" seems to best describe the support role played by the nurse that in some sense could be the determining factor as to whether a patient will recover, stagnate or worse, yet it does not seem to be adequately considered in the increasingly technical role of the nurse. Neumans Systems Model for nursing is a construct developed to explain the interconnected nature of personal variables and the prevention measures of the nurse to help the patient achieve a balance in his or her care and his or her life. To develop such nursing paradigms and apply them with mentors could serve to stimulate thinking with regard to how a future nurse might fit into this goal. (Heyman & Wolfe 2000, "Neumans System Model: Key Concepts")
The system is constructed of several parts, some personcentric and others environmental. The five "person" variables, as defined by Neuman are physiological; the structure and function of the body, psychological; the mental state and emotions, sociocultural; relationships, cultural expectations and activities, spiritual; ones spiritual beliefs and developmental; the process of development which occurs continually. Each person variable is interconnected and dependant upon the others which work in congruence to achieve balance. (Heyman & Wolfe 2000, "Neumans System Model: Key Concepts") When any one or more of these functions is out of balance the individual may experience stressors as well as, potentially ill effects, ranging from something as simple as a bad mood to the development of opportunistic infections, or debilitating chronic disease exacerbation. (Schneiderman, McCabe & Baum 1992, 1) Helping future nurses understand their role as a harbinger of a healthy, stress reduced environment will assist in the goal of the nurse leader to recruit future nurses with a purpose and paradigm that meets the needs of all.
The Neuman model is particularly helpful in its stress on balancing the technical aspects of nursing with the more social aspects that often drive individuals to become nurses. Holistic care is a current trend in nursing care, but it also brings to mind the real nature of nursing as a caring profession, a pull for many future nurses. In most nursing settings the focus of work is to actively heal the physical and therefore to focus almost entirely on this aspect of care. In the Neuman model this would be an irresponsible approach as it does not acknowledge the whole of the individual and his or her place in community. (Humphrey Beebe 2003, 67) (Timko 1996, 173) (Polivy & Herman 2002, 187)
The Neuman system theory is clearly an inclusive system, as it acknowledges nearly every aspect of the individual, and his or her environment. The system also acknowledges that the nurse has a specific role, not to facilitate healing, as this is clearly something the individual must do independently but to prevent additional stressors from affecting the individual, by controlling the environment and the input and output issues the individual is dealing with, while trying to restore balance. The role of the patient, to heal and restore balance and the role of the nurse are clearly defined, by the system and it is the job of the nurse to anticipate needs and opportunities for prevention. The system has even been applied to educating nurses and the education model of prevention as the roles of the nurse. (Peternelj-Taylor & Johnson 1996, 23) Stressing this model and others that work toward holistic nursing paradigms is an essential role in the nurse leader as recruiter. Those who already have intensive goals to continue in healthcare, with the proper support have ideologies that are based around real lived experiences of nursing and all medical care and seeking to employ these individuals as nurses will assist in building on the current goal and trend of holistic health care.
Neuman (1982) & #8230; recognizes nurses' claim to be concerned with phenomena relating to both client and environment. She identifies stressors originating in intrapersonal, interpersonal and extrapersonal areas. & #8230; she suggests preventive care and health education programmes, and that nurses should help 'individuals, families and groups' attain a maximum level of wellness (Neuman, 1980). (Sheppard 1991, 29)
The purpose of Neumans system, and other nursing paradigms, is to create a way of thinking about nursing that is more easily conceived by the nurse, so he or she may more easily go about the roles of protecting the patient from further stressors. Neuman attempts to create a context where nurses can easily understand the reasons for their actions, and anticipate the needs of the patient on a multifaceted scale.
Nurse Leaders as Educators
Nurse leaders have been sought as educators for centuries as nurse education is both clinical and experiential in nature. (Flynn & Stack, 2006) An expansion of the role of advanced practice nurses and other nurse leaders into credentialed roles and nurse educators is an essential aspect of the role of nurse leaders as recruiters of future nurses. There is a trend in "trade" education to recruit and allow many more individuals access to the role of educator, as hands on, real world training has become increasingly recognized as one of the most important aspects of trade education and essential to nursing education and recruitment. Sadly, in the field of nursing the role of educator has been frozen in many cases to include only those individuals with some clinical experience as nurses but mainly with advanced scholarly degree credentials. This is despite the fact that the roles of nurse leaders and Advanced Practice Nurses is expanding almost yearly. Resistance is in some ways scholarly and political as the role of educator in developed scholarly programs has always been limited despite the fact that many people in the world, without advanced scholarly degrees can and should be educating and recruiting future nurses. Many APNs in all the various specialties already do a great deal of education of patients, families and even some lesser nursing staff, such as MAs, CNAs, Med Aides, Pharmacy Technicians and others and do so effectively and with significant role insight to the whole scope of the needs of patients. APNs should be admitted to nurse educator programs to become nurse educators and should possibly also be given credit for clinical years served as a basis, regardless of the terminal nature of any clinical degrees that these individuals might hold. (Cleary & Rice, 2005, p. 133)
Current barriers exist for individuals with advanced practice clinical degrees and experience, ease of admission to programs that educate and train nurse educators. These barriers are legal, social, political and ethical but should be abolished, as such individuals offer exactly the needed ingredients for effective nurse recruitment and education roles, as they offer both scholarly but mainly real world experience that can then be a great asset to the classroom ad should be acknowledged without prejudice.
Advanced practice nurses such as nurse practitioners are often thought of as clinical nurse specialists. They are capable of developing patient care models and treating patients in many settings, in some states independent of physicians while in others as what would be though of as an assistant to a physician, supervised by a physician in a clinical setting. APNs are a group of highly trained and well educated medical professionals often with many years of clinical experience, but often with degrees in nursing that are in a scholarly sense considered, terminal degrees or degrees which cannot be built upon but…[continue]
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