Representatives from 25 universities and colleges across the state gathered April 10 as UNC Greensboro and North Carolina A&T hosted the North Carolina Council of Higher Education in Nursing’s annual spring meeting at the Union Square Campus.
Dr. Robin Remsburg, dean of UNCG’s School of Nursing, was among 17 chief academic officers who represented in-state institutions that ranged from large public universities to small private colleges at the day-long meeting.
“There’s nothing like being with other deans because frankly no matter where you’re from, whether it’s here in North Carolina or across the country, we have a special bond because of our profession,” said Dr. Marion Broome, dean of Duke University’s School of Nursing.
“We have a special responsibility because we’re putting out the future nurses, and frankly we have all the same challenges. It really doesn’t matter how big your program is or how small it is, the challenges are very very similar.”
Tables were arranged in a large rectangle to seat all the administrators who had traveled to Greensboro to discuss a variety of issues affecting North Carolina nursing schools. One presentation covered ways to identify and address work-related stress in nurses.
Dr. Tama Morris serves as president of the North Carolina Council of Higher Education in Nursing in addition to her position as dean of the Blair College of Health at Queens University of Charlotte. She said the council represents a united “voice of higher nursing education” in the state.
“It could be a very adversarial type relationship, but what we do is we actually share ideas. We address common issues,” Morris said. “We provide a lot of support for each other. We have a mentoring piece that we’ve started in the last two years, so that if you’re new in the state, you get a mentor. We also pick up the phone and call each other.”
The North Carolina Council of Higher Education in Nursing consists of 28 in-state universities and colleges that serve as members. Its mission includes improving the nursing profession by “advancing the quality of baccalaureate and graduate programs in nursing.”
Other states have similar organizations. “The needs in health care and the challenges in health care are so enormous, and there is plenty of work to go around,” Broome said.
“So especially in nursing education, there’s no room for competition. We each have a different mission.”
By Alex Abrams