School Kicks Off Strategic Planning Process

Several VUMC Nursing executives, including Administrative Director Ann Cross, facilitated break out sessions during the School of Nursing’s strategic planning day. Each group focused on a different subject area and drilled down to discuss needs and opportunities. Photo by Joe Howell.

Nearly 200 Vanderbilt University School of Nursing faculty members took part in a special planning retreat this summer, kicking off the School’s strategic vision process.

“We are in the midst of a sea change in health care,” said VUSN Dean Linda Norman, DSN, RN, FAAN, Valere Potter Menefee Professor of Nursing. “This will give us an opportunity to look at the current impact of the School of Nursing and the future needs for nursing research, scholarship, practice and education. In doing so, we will discover the things we may need to change and any new things we will need to initiate.”

The goal of the daylong strategic planning session was to introduce a framework for this work and to tackle the first goal—analyzing data about the current state of the school.

“In order to develop a comprehensive vision, we need to first understand our current efforts and how they work together. The retreat is about getting a picture of where we are and begin to explore where we need to be,” said Norman.

As a launching point and to ensure cohesiveness, Norman shared key components of the Vanderbilt University strategic mission. Marilyn Dubree, MSN, RN, Executive Chief Nursing Officer, also described Medical Center Nursing’s strategic goals. Presentations included feedback from an external point of view, gathered by the North Highland consulting group.

They presented findings from deans and senior leaders from other top nursing schools, current and potential employers of VUSN graduates, clinical preceptors/mentors of VUSN students and community partners such as public health departments and community-based clinics.

The senior associate deans for Academics, Research, Faculty and Community Partnerships and Informatics each provided detailed analytics of their specific areas, which included strengths as well as areas for improvement.

The afternoon was spent in breakout sessions, where faculty groups brainstormed the current versus future needs in the areas of academics, research, practice, educational innovation, inter-professional activities, trans-institutional activities and relationship of VUSN to VUMC Nursing’s strategic initiatives.

“We have so many strengths and a wonderful team of faculty and staff who are truly dedicated to our students and to advancing nursing,” Norman said.

Faculty work groups continue to meet to determine areas for further improvement and development with the goal of having the strategic planning process complete by mid-2015.