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ASU's nursing college to study health leadership


outside of ASU nursing building in Downtown Phoenix

Arizona State University's College of Nursing and Health Innovation is partnering with Harvard-affiliated medical groups in Boston to research and implement improved methods of leadership in the health industry.
Photo by: Dave Tevis

October 04, 2015

As the field of health care grows and changes to meet the demands of an aging population, ASU will be at the forefront of training strong leaders to work in the industry.

ASU’s College of Nursing and Health Innovation announced today it has teamed up with the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, each in Boston, to form the Workforce Outcomes Research and Leadership Development Institute, also known as the WORLD-Institute.

The consortium they will form will be a collaborative effort that will merge academic study with the everyday practice of medicine. The WORLD-Institute will research, develop and implement evidence-based approaches to leadership development for nurses and administrators in healthcare. 

The consortium will operate out of Boston and ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus.

“Nursing is pretty far along in understanding how supporting leadership can improve health care workforce and result in better patient outcomes. However, we don’t have quantifiable data to tell us that,” said Jeffrey M. Adams, professor of practice at ASU’s College of Nursing, and Visiting Scholar at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

“Every hospital spends so much money on leadership development programming and education within their own institution, but we really don’t know what works and doesn’t work. Our emphasis isn’t to say, ‘Hey, get rid of that educational program.’ What we do want to do is find a way to make it better.”

Adams believes by teaming ASU’s College of Nursing and Health Innovation with Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a 793-bed nonprofit teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School, and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, one of the leading cancer research and care centers in the United States, the three entities can identify, share and optimize resources to understand the most effective ways of developing health care leaders.

"We are very enthusiastic about the work of the consortium which will bring a fresh, data-driven understanding of mindful leadership approaches in nursing," said Teri Pipe, dean of the College of Nursing and Health Innovation.

The WORLD-Institute will also provide ASU students with access to the most up-to-date practices and concepts.

“What’s exciting about ASU being a co-founding partner in the institute is that we’ll be at the forefront of cutting edge information that will have an impact on the entire health care field,” said Craig Thatcher, senior associate dean and professor in ASU’s nursing college. “We want to help all ASU students in their career trajectory so they can eventually become nursing leaders.”

Institute members believe the future studies and research they conduct on new leadership development models will foster improved effectiveness, productivity and happiness in the workplace; healthy and supportive work environments for staff; and better outcomes for patients, families and their health care providers.

Making it better also means being inclusive, which is why the WORLD-Institute will welcome new members, partners and scholars who are dedicated to advancing evidence-based scholarly research and strengthening leadership potential in clinicians and health care providers.

“With the Affordable Health Care Act, more people are accessing health care and information is going to be critical,” Thatcher said. “And it will be even more critical to promote excellent leadership and a professional and happy work environment.”

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