The term “scholarship in nursing” is used to denote activities aimed at advancement of teaching and nursing practice. Boyer (1990) put emphasis on discovery, teaching, application, and integration scholarship as four most important areas of academic work. The Faculty Development Plan should include activities required for faculty advancement in each of the four dimensions.
The scholarship of discovery presupposes empirical and historical researches and theory development considering the peculiarities of the subject. Being in the know of the latest discoveries in the sphere of health promotion and rehabilitation is of crucial importance. For this reason, it is advisable to allot time to systematical collecting of data, conducting empirical and theoretical researches. Gardner and Suplee (2010) noted that “a priority for the clinical faculty role is to facilitate the integration of knowledge from the classroom to the clinical setting” (p. 17). The primary empirical research is an important source of relevant information, providing an opportunity for advancement of clinical knowledge. Working on your Faculty Development Plan, you should pay attention to benefits of publication of peer-reviewed researches and presentation of philosophical or theoretical essays. Colleagues’ opinions should be taken into consideration for evaluating the research questions and results critically; adopting the peers’ experience would be helpful for preventing possible mistakes.
The scholarship of teaching presupposes implementation of innovative technologies and teaching techniques for raising the students’ awareness of the science and art of nursing. Multimedia devices and simulation of real situations are among them. Most researchers admit the benefits of the innovative technologies for students’ acquiring the course materials. Bradshaw and Lowenstein (2007) noted that “innovative computer-based materials can provide technical training within the classroom – audio and video combining to offer a breadth of exposure previously only available through many hours at the bedsite” (p. 38). Due to the fact that the sphere is relatively new, colleagues should share the experience of their experiments and discuss the results of accreditation of innovative programs and presentations related to teaching and learning.
Application scholarship is a critical component of clinical competency of the faculty. It presupposes application of clinical knowledge which is helpful for its advancement at the same time. Bastable (2008) noted that “the role of educator is not primarily to teach, but to promote learning and provide for an environment conducive to learning – to create the teachable moment rather than just waiting for it to happen” (p. 13). The Faculty Development Plan should include analysis of innovative health care models, their evaluation and assessment of health care system outcomes.
Integration scholarship denotes placing clinical knowledge into larger context using data from nursing and other disciplines. It emphasizes the interconnection of various spheres and illuminates clinical data from a new perspective. Including clinical data into larger context provides an opportunity for its more comprehensive analysis, understanding and further practical application. Coming across data situating at margins of nursing and other fields of study, colleagues could discuss opportunities for its further research and implementation. Integrative literature reviews and interdisciplinary researches are important for advancement of clinical knowledge.
The Faculty Development Plan should be focused on the four main dimensions of scholarship in nursing and offer corresponding methods for enhancing the clinical competency. These strategies are expected to result in development of professional skills and improvement of people’s health. The above mentioned methods of discovery, teaching, application and integrative scholarship provide framework for faculty development and advancement of nursing knowledge. Peer reviews and discussion are beneficial for sharing the experience and critical evaluating of the chosen themes and methods.
- Bastable, S. B. (2008). Nurse as educator: principles of teaching and learning for nursing practice. (3rd ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett.
- Boyer, E. L. (1990). Scholarship reconsidered: priorities of the professoriate. New York, NY: The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
- Bradshaw, M., & Lowenstein, A. J. (2007). Innovative teaching strategies in nursing and health professions. (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Jones & Bartlett.
- Gardner, M. R., & Suplee, P. D. (2010). Handbook of clinical teaching in nursing and health sciences. Boston, MA: Jones & Bartlett.