Duke University School of Nursing (DUSON) is leading efforts to develop staff by preparing them for advancement in their careers. The DUSON Emerging Leaders Program was created through a collaboration between DUSON Human Resources and the Duke University Learning and Organizational Development Office. The first cohort began in September and consists of 11 staff members representing various areas throughout the School, including Research, Global Health, Academics and Finance and Administration.
“We are committed to creating an environment that promotes growth not just for our students and faculty but also our staff,” said David Bowersox, MBA, associate dean of Finance and Administration for DUSON. “In leading the efforts of developing a program that will expose our staff to both personal and professional development opportunities, it will ensure they are receiving opportunities for coaching and growth that assist them in building their own leadership skills.”
The 12-month program is modeled after the highly successful Duke Leadership Academy. The Leadership Academy focuses on leadership and management styles and behaviors for implementing strategy. While the Emerging Leaders Program will cover some leadership topics, it will also provide substantial guidance on management. During the program, participants will learn about dimensions of management for successful leaders, best practices for managing employee expectations, project management, effective relationships that bring out the best in people, finance and budgeting, managing from the middle, diagnosing your level of skill when working with those in higher level positions and so much more.
During the welcome reception, Mekeisha Williams, assistant vice president of the Duke University Learning and Organizational Development Office, encouraged participants to embrace the value of learning and viewing ideas through a different lens as they find their strengths and opportunities for development.
Another major component of the program is the Action Learning Case Studies. Participants will be split into two Action Learning Case Study Teams that will work to address two specific School of Nursing challenges: "Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Preceptor Engagement and Recognition Program" and "DUSON Graduate Tracking Process, Data Repository and Reporting."
The first project is an opportunity for the team to develop a comprehensive plan that not only engages preceptors and offers them professional benefits but also helps them feel valued and important to students’ education.
The second project is an opportunity for the team to create an effective plan for tracking information about graduates, such as employment or contact information, that will be accessible to various departments within the School.
"I am excited to work on the case study for two reasons," said Keysha Hall, senior staff assistant for Division III for DUSON. "First, I have the opportunity to collaborate with and learn from my teammates, and I believe that iron sharpens iron. Our individual strengths fused together will yield a great solution to the real life issue we're working on. Second, we are in a unique position to not only effect change for DUSON; our solution could have a positive industry-wide impact. How cool is that?"
As part of the program, participants will meet with five Duke University leaders – Duke University President Richard Brodhead is expected to be one of the first – who will share with them their journeys in leadership.
At the end of the program, participants will have an understanding of the behaviors that are critical for successful leadership, be able to demonstrate leadership behaviors in work that is important to them, have a deeper appreciation of some of Duke's challenges and consider plans to address them, and create a learning and development plan to enhance their individual leadership capabilities.
"I chose to participate in the Emerging Leaders Program because I feel it's an opportunity to stretch myself and step out of my comfort zone," Hall said. "Therefore, when this program ends, I hope to have a solid foundation in the many aspects of leadership to facilitate my professional growth and development at DUSON."