In April 2008, the New Careers in Nursing (NCIN) Program launched a collaborative initiative between the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. One of the main goals of this initiative was to provide leadership development through structured activities for NCIN scholars. In order to meet this goal, 3 participating NCIN schools came together to plan and conduct a collaborative student-focused, scholar-led leadership conference for accelerated nursing students. Admittedly, collaboration among institutions of higher education is sometimes not a standard practice. Although sharing the common goal of preparing future nurses to provide high-quality care, many schools of nursing often compete for scarce resources including recruitment of faculty and students, securing clinical placements, and new graduates and alumni compete for jobs. However, there are advantages to sharing financial and intellectual resources in order to ensure a richer educational experience for NCIN scholars and for all accelerated nursing students. Using the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation monies awarded for our Legacy Project, 3 NCIN program liaisons overseeing accelerated nursing programs in Nebraska met to discuss the advantages and disadvantages related to planning and conducting a collaborative student leadership activity for NCIN scholars and their peer-accelerated nursing students. The program liaisons wanted to establish common goals for the endeavor and ensure the use of approaches that would foster leadership development of the NCIN scholars and establish mechanisms by which the group would create a collaborative environment. Although the 3 collaborating colleges were and continue to be competitors for prospective accelerated students, the benefit of collaborating on a joint leadership development project for the NCIN scholars and their peers was clear. Program liaisons recognized that this opportunity would strengthen leadership development and provide relevant experience for the NCIN scholars and result in a conference for other accelerated nursing students.
- NCIN Student Leadership Conference created by three NCIN grantee institutions
- NCIN scholars and alumni executed the entire conference
- Over 100 accelerated nursing students from the three collaborating schools
- Participants indicated they were revising their professional goals to achieve more
ASJC Scopus subject areas