I recently accepted a position as the department chair at a proprietary school. I did not realize that with this organization as the department chair I do not have the autonomy to make decisions concerning the program. For example, the academic dean is selecting the curriculum and lab design (this person is not a nurse)..... I do not feel comfortable backing a program that I have zero to little input into. Even textbook choices, I can select but this person has the ability to veto my decision and select something else.
My history: Five years in nursing education (public sector), MSN nursing education and 11 years Medical-Surgical nursing experience.
I am ready to take my losses and seek other options. Am I overreacting? Is this the "norm" ?
Oct 3, '12
I don't think you're overreacting (but I have to wonder what you were expecting from a proprietary school ...). I wonder if the BON is aware that a non-nurse is making the decisions about curriculum, academics, labs, etc.? I'm guessing they would probably have a problem with that (from my experience in nursing education and BON requirements). You may want to consult with your state BON education consultant.
Oct 3, '12
Thanks elkpark. My experience with proprietary schools was nonexistent prior to this. This experience has been very valuable. As for the BON, I am sure that they are unaware of this. At this time I really am looking for a way out. I have accepted the fact that I need to explore other options including returning to clinical practice until another academic position presents. Thanks for the feedback though
Oct 7, '12
I dont think you are overreacting. Proprietary schools are run very differently. They tend to be very cookie-cutter, if there are many of them. There are people abive your dean likely making decisions, based on the needs of all, not the needs of your specific geographic location or student demographic. It is very frustrating (I taught in one, and was very friendly with the DON, who subsequently left). It is very frustrating to be in a position of management, and have your hands tied.
Oct 28, '12
I say it is time to put a razor edge on your political skills. It would only make good business sense for a nursing program to be run by a nurse. A non-nurse who produced a curriculum that was out of touch with the professional world is selling their students short. Not only are they being gipped (an ethical issue) but they will not be successful (a business issue). If they tell their friends, guess who will be out of business. I would arm myself with tons of data on this, and find out who exactly has the power to make a change. Start with your boss and test the waters. If this is a no-go, move up the food chain. Approach with caution and do your homework first. Cover your bases (i.e. your a**). Just stress how you are trying to make them more money by increasing the quality of the program (at no cost). Good luck.
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