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Role of a Dean of Nursing Schools

by Alison Green

Often with extensive management and leadership experience, a dean of nursing schools sets the goals and objectives of the institution. He enforces the policies adopted by the institution’s board, ensures the school's nursing programs meet accreditation standards and advises the board on the human resource needs of the school. Although employment requirements for this position vary with institutions, you typically need to be a registered nurse with advanced degrees in both nursing and management.

Enforcing Policies

Policies are formulated by an institution's top leadership to enhance operational efficiency. A dean of a nursing school ensures all policies adopted by the board are enforced and adhered to by staff and students. For example, if the board approves the use of social media in the nursing curriculum practice, the dean develops ways to enforce this policy. You can, for instance, formulate a policy enforcement committee to identify how common social media platforms such as blogs, Twitter and Facebook can be used to improve learning and better enhance student networking.

Maintaining Accreditation

A nursing school dean works toward securing regional or nation accreditation for new nursing programs while maintaining the accreditation status of older programs. To do this, a dean can invite a regional or national accreditation agency to evaluate the curriculum of the new program and determine whether or not it meets specific standards of higher learning and issue recommendations where necessary. A dean can maintain the accreditation of existing programs by ensuring tutors are qualified and that the institution has excellent learning facilities.

Evaluating Achievements

Regular evaluation of achievements helps to realize institutional goals. If a nursing school has an objective of increasing the number of student admissions by 20 percent within a period of two years, for example, the dean has a duty to evaluate the progress of this goal regularly and compile an evaluation report for presentation to the board. The deanship can also assess the general performance of nursing students in examinations and compare it with other nursing schools. Such evaluations help students to know what a nursing school’s management considers essential features of learning.

Supervising Faculty Staff

A dean’s supervisory skills can contribute to the success of a nursing school. If you are hired for this position, you need to use your leadership expertise to establish an effective organizational structure and manage your staff. You can create positions for head of departments, including head of admissions, head of student affairs and head of each nursing program to enhance efficiency of the school. The board may ask you to give recommendation on appointments, promotion, retention and retirement actions of any faculty member.

About the Author

Based in New York City, Alison Green has been writing professionally on career topics for more than a decade. Her work has appeared in “U.S. News Weekly” magazine, “The Career” magazine and “Human Resources Journal.” Green holds a master's degree in finance from New York University.

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