School of Nursing to pilot learning strategies to build leadership, resilience

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing has selected the School of Nursing at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio) to participate in a national initiative to give new nurses strong skills in leadership, resilience, self-care and well-being.

The School of Nursing is one of 10 nursing schools nationwide funded by Johnson & Johnson to implement AACN’s new initiative, A Competency-Based Approach to Leadership Development and Resilience for Student Nurses. To advance this work, AACN worked to identify a diverse set of nursing schools to integrate new learning strategies into curriculum that meet expectations outlined in The Essentials: Core Competencies for Professional Nursing Education.

Leaders of the program at the UT Health San Antonio School of Nursing are Cynthia O’Neal, PhD, RN, associate dean of undergraduate studies; Wesley Richardson, PhD, MSN, RN, CNL assistant professor/clinical in the School of Nursing and VALOR program coordinator for the South Texas Veterans Healthcare System; and Isabell Stoltz, DNP, MN, RN, CCNS, assistant professor/clinical.

“The School of Nursing is excited to contribute to this important work,” O’Neal said.  “A healthy nursing workforce is essential for nurses to be positive role models and strong advocates for healthy communities. Preparing nurses who are resilient and engage in self-care will ensure the nursing workforce is energized, strong and ready to solve the health challenges of tomorrow.” The program began in December 2022 and is to be completed this June.

Additional schools of nursing selected to participate in the program include:

  • Adelphi University, New York
  • California State University-Chico
  • Fayetteville State University, North Carolina
  • Georgia State University
  • Mount Carmel College of Nursing, Ohio
  • Nevada State College
  • Rutgers University – Camden, New Jersey
  • Samuel Merritt University, California
  • University of Minnesota

“Preparing nurses with the skills needed to foster wellness, self-care and resilience in themselves and others is imminently important in today’s healthcare system,” said AACN President and Chief Executive Officer Deborah Trautman, PhD, RN, FAAN.

AACN launched the initiative to infuse new content into baccalaureate nursing programs, which will help graduates develop the skills needed to foster personal health, resilience and well-being, as well as strong leadership skills. Learning resources created through the project will be incorporated into the AACN Essentials Implementation Tool Kit and disseminated to all schools of nursing. Faculty development also will be offered to facilitate the integration of new content into nursing curricula.


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