Socialization experiences of first-level nursing academic administrators in community colleges of tennessee
Strong, consistent nursing academic leadership is needed in this time of rapid technological advancement and constantly evolving healthcare environments, but the recruitment and retention of first-level nursing academic administrators can be difficult. Existing literature did not offer a complete picture of the social processes that nurse faculty experience as they transition into leadership positions, therefore this qualitative descriptive study explored how first-level nursing academic administrators (nursing directors, deans, or the institutional equivalents) describe and apply meaning to socialization experiences while transitioning from nurse faculty into the role of nursing academic leader in the community colleges of Tennessee. Data collected by semi-structured interviews and analyzed through qualitative content analysis present a descriptive picture of their socialization experiences and the overarching themes that reveal what the experiences meant to the participants (using past experiences, serving, changing perspective, and seeking guidance). This picture contributes to a knowledge base that will support nursing faculty considering entrance into academic administration and give insight into the process for college administrators and those responsible for recruiting and retaining the academic leaders needed to guide the programs through rapidly changing healthcare systems. Further, it provides an alternate view to socialization which may be more useful in nursing academic leadership than the traditional, more linear models.