Nursing program development and educational leadership


During a DNP-838A: Nursing program development and educational leadership course, learners examine issues related to nursing program development within the complex and highly regulated environment of nursing education. With a focus on regulatory and accrediting bodies, learners determine the best methods for designing, evaluating, and improving nursing education programs in order to meet the diverse needs of industry and other stakeholders. Additionally, learners also examine leadership issues in nursing education and the professional development and scholarly obligations of the nurse educator-scholar in the academic community. Learners are expected to integrate the educational leadership competencies through the completion of education practicum hours during this course.

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 Nursing program development and educational leadership

What is educational leadership?

Educational leadership is the process of enlisting and guiding talents and energies, teachers, learners, and parents towards achieving common educational aims.

The main purpose of educational leadership is to ensure academic success through the process, material, and training improvements. Most importantly, this achievement of academic goals occurs as a result of collaboration with different individuals such as educators, parents, students, public policymakers, and the public.

Five effective leadership styles in education.

Educational leadership largely influences student learning, development, and achievement of academic goals. The following are five effective leadership styles in education that are guaranteed to produce a huge impact:

1.      Instructional leadership.

This style of educational leadership focuses on student learning outcomes by improving teaching quality. It involves the practice of planning, evaluation, coordination, and improvement of teaching and learning. This leadership style involves instructional leaders who define the institution’s mission, manage the instructional program, promote high expectations, and offer incentives for teachers and students.

2.      Transformational leadership.

Transformation leaders encourage their institution’s teams to have a say in decision-making processes and enable collective goal-setting. Most importantly, as role models, these transformational leaders create a culture of innovation and improvement and a shared sense of purpose. Thus, setting the foundations for success and growth.

3.      Constructivist leadership.

A constructivist leader examines how things were, by speaking to people who were there. Therefore, this type of leadership involves the individual using that knowledge to determine how things should be, and finding ways to get there.

What is a constructivist theory?

This is the theory that says learners construct knowledge rather than just passively taking in information. That is, as individuals experience the word, they reflect upon these experiences and construct their unique representations and integrate new information into their pre-existing knowledge schemas.

Constructivist theories of leadership emphasize new and integrative approaches to leadership development, effectiveness, and evaluation. Thus, the resulting research concentrates on how leaders perceive their roles, how they derive meaning from their work, and how they assess their own development.

Guiding principles of constructivism.

  • It only constructs knowledge and not transmitting.
  • Initial knowledge affects the learning process.
  • Prior understanding is local, not global.
  • Building useful knowledge structures requires effortful and purposeful activity.

The role of nurse educators as constructivist leaders is to help their students build their knowledge and control the existence of students during the learning process in the classroom. In addition, the nurse educators are also responsible for encouraging the students to engage in collaborative learning.

4.      Servant leadership.

Servant leadership is a leadership style in which the main goal of the leader is to serve. Thus, a servant leader focuses on the needs of others before considering their own.

Disadvantages of servant leadership.

  • Takes a longer time to make decisions in the organization.
  • Leaders must do whatever the staff asks of them.
  • It takes too long to teach and retrain leaders to think like servant leaders.
  • The leader can be perceived as weak.

5.      Strategic leadership.

Strategic leadership involves decision-making aimed at shaping the direction of the organization.

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