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U.Va. School of Nursing Receives Fuld Grant

Oct. 25, 2000 -- The Helene Fuld Health Trust has recently awarded $75,000 over two years to the University of Virginia School of Nursing to fund a Leadership for the 21st Century initiative.

The Leadership for the 21st Century initiative is designed to create a model of leadership development to be integrated into the School of Nursing undergraduate program. According to Judy Sands, baccalaureate program and project director, "We believe that the unique quality of U.Va. undergraduate students and their commitment to community service provides an ideal match with the Fuld Trust's leadership development emphasis. Students frequently arrive at the University with an established record of service and leadership in their home communities, and they continue to expand on that during their undergraduate years. This project will integrate leadership development into all aspects of the school's undergraduate program and will hopefully result in a model that can be replicated at other schools."

Leadership development is already an identified objective in a variety of courses in the nursing curriculum, and many students are involved in co-curricular leadership activities and experiences. With this grant, the School of Nursing intends to create a theoretical framework that can support both classroom and clinical leadership experiences, and can also be used to direct and analyze student participation in a wide variety of service learning and student governance activities.

The initiative will be rolled out in two phases. The first phase involves working with faculty and clinician leaders in the University of Virginia Health System to develop a leadership model that can be applied to the curriculum, the practice setting, and co-curricular activities. The second phase focuses on integrating the model into teaching and learning experiences, and creating additional opportunities for students to expand their leadership skills through co-curricular and volunteer service learning experiences.

The first level of the project is for first-year students under the heading of Leadership Foundations. It will incorporate several ventures developed over the last two years, including participation in a leadership lecture series sponsored by the University of Virginia Women's Center, involvement in student organizations, and the creation of a leadership portfolio developed over the four years of the undergraduate experience.

The next level of the initiative is designed for second- and third-year students and is called Leadership through Service and Advocacy. Second-year students will be encouraged to continue their involvement with their selected student organizations, to participate in the professional mentoring program with clinicians in the Health System, and undertake a service-learning project through Madison House or another service organization. Madison House is a well-established University volunteer program that coordinates the community service activities of U.Va. student volunteers. Students will also be encouraged to consider taking a new one-credit elective course exploring leadership fundamentals and skills.

By the third year, students will be expected to assume increasing responsibility in their student organizations and to design and provide substantive leadership for a service-learning project under the guidance of a faculty member. These projects can be completed within an elective independent study in leadership development that will provide students with structured faculty guidance to complete their projects and to analyze their actions and effectiveness as leaders.

The final level of the initiative is called Leadership in Action. This is designed for fourth-year students involved in a variety of formal leadership activities through School of Nursing organizations, University groups, sororities, and other organizations. Opportunities will also be developed for selected students to collaborate with faculty and/or clinicians in scholarly, research and teaching projects or to work with community organizations and other professional groups such as Sigma Theta Tau and the Virginia Nurses Association on identified projects.

The project will move forward under the leadership of the Director of the Baccalaureate Program Judy Sands, RN, EdD, the Baccalaureate Program Committee, the Leadership Initiative for Nursing Education fellows at the University of Virginia Health System sponsored by the Fuld Trust, and the School of Nursing Office of Admissions and Student Services.

CONTACT: Crystal Gafford Muhammad, coordinator of Media Relations, 924-1287, or e-mail

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: please contact the Office of University Relations at (804) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.
SOURCE: U.Va. News Services


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