Newswise — PHILADELPHIA (June 10, 2013)— Fourteen Drexel students will graduate this month with bachelor’s degrees in nursing – plus a little something extra. They will be better prepared than most new nurses to take on leadership roles in health care.
The nursing profession is ripe to receive them, according to Dr. Roberta Waite, an associate professor and assistant dean in Drexel University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions. “By the year 2020, 58 percent of current leaders in nursing will be retired,” Waite said.
The need for more nursing leaders inspired Waite to develop the Macy Undergraduate Leadership Fellows program to help a select group of Drexel nursing students to develop their leadership skills.
The first cohort of Macy Fellows has just completed the program and celebrated their achievements with faculty, friends and mentors at a ceremony on June 5. They will graduate with their peers in the College of Nursing and Health Professions on June 14.
The Macy Fellows completed a voluntary six-credit program that emphasized leadership capacity, as well as increasing cultural competence and working effectively with other types of healthcare professionals. Each student worked one-on-one with a mentor who is a healthcare professional in a leadership role, to help them develop their individual leadership strengths. Students also participated in applied community-service leadership projects.
One student, Lauren Schoppet, developed a peer mentoring program for other nursing students based on what she learned about leadership as a Macy Fellow.
“I think this program has given me a lot of insight into the type of leader I want to become and what I want to do with my career,” Schoppet said. “It’s really opened my eyes to all the possibilities that there are for nurses instead of only the hospital bedside role.”
Waite developed the student leadership program through the Macy Faculty Scholar Award she received in 2011, from the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation.
Waite has already begun processing applications from students who wish to enter the program in September 2013. She has expanded the program to enroll students in their sophomore through senior years, and from a variety of majors in the College of Nursing and Health Professions in addition to nursing. In its next iteration, the Macy Fellows program will entail three, 3-credit courses, offered in fall, winter and spring terms.