About the Dean
The following article appeared in the Spring 2012 issue of the The Nurse Advocate.
“You’re almost expected to be a little bit eccentric to be in academia,” said Rosalie O’Dell Mainous, Ph.D., the new dean of the Wright State University–Miami Valley College of Nursing and Health.
She should know—she’s been in the higher education world for over 26 years. Mainous says she loves the freedom that the academic environment gives her to try new, creative methods and that she thrives on the ability to challenge the status quo.
As she takes the reins of the nursing college, she has one simple goal in mind: to produce the nurses of the 21st century.
Under Mainous’s direction, the college will produce nurses confident in their abilities and their training. They will be ready to dive into their careers with a strong understanding of the reality of the nursing world. “When they graduate, they won’t know everything—that’s impossible given the speed of information today,” she said. “But they will know where to go to get the information. They will be problem solvers and critical thinkers.”
To accomplish this, there are many key objectives that Mainous plans to prioritize. She’s going to take a hard look at the school’s graduate programs. She wants to develop new tracks and programs that meet the changing needs of the Dayton region. She plans to expand the use of technology in the curriculum and raise scores on state board examinations into the top percentiles.
At the top of her agenda is emphasizing global health and cultural understanding in the curriculum. She recognizes that today’s students are citizens of a global community. She’d like to see every student participate in an international program, preferably with a service-learning component.
Unfortunately, that takes money. So Mainous knows she’ll need to do some serious fundraising to make her dreams for the college a reality. “Study abroad and service-learning are both life-altering experiences,” she said. “Every student should be able to have those experiences regardless of their financial situation.”
Of course, Mainous is focused on more than just her students. She also wants to support and promote the careers of her employees. A strong believer in faculty governance, she casts herself as both a facilitator and a cheerleader. “It’s their school,” she said. “They’ve invited me in to provide leadership and direction. I’ve taken that responsibility very seriously.”
Though she has many goals to accomplish, Mainous sees her objectives as very simple: help the college build a national reputation for excellence in both the quality of education it provides and in the quality of nurses it produces.
“I want to build on past successes and move us forward,” said Mainous. “I’m not going to be around forever and I want to leave the college in a better situation than I found it in.”
The Wright State University-Miami Valley College of Nursing and Health provides excellence in innovative educational programs as the foundation for lifelong learning; serves our community locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally; performs scholarship that enriches and guides the profession of nursing; and empowers faculty, staff, students, and alumni to reach their full potential.
The Wright State University-Miami Valley College of Nursing and Health will be a leader in the transformation of the educational enterprise in Ohio and beyond through collaborative partnerships, civic engagement, and service, supported by scholarship to advance and empower nursing in an inclusive, respectful environment.
The baccalaureate degree in nursing, master's degree in nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice at Wright State University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.aacn.nche.edu/ccne-accreditation).
The College of Nursing and Health supports Wright State University's mission of teaching, research, and service. The faculty believe in the acquisition of knowledge, the exploration for new knowledge, the advancement of lifelong learning, and the search for basic truth. The faculty share the commitment of the University to respond to issues affecting the diversity of the global community.
The Faculty Believe:
The human community consists of individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. An individual is a dynamic being whose body, mind, and spirit develop over the life span. Individuals have inherent worth, dignity and the potential to be discerning, caring, creative, and rational beings within the context of their developmental stage and life situation. Individuals make choices which create the self and provide opportunity for change.
Individuals are members of families who may serve as cohesive, dynamic support systems providing nurturance and protection as well as transmitting cultural values. Individuals form groups, organizations, and communities to share responsibilities and meet human needs. Vulnerable and underserved groups require shared responsibility by all humanity for communication, understanding, and peaceful coexistence.
Individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities affect and are affected by their interactions with the environment. The environment is the context of human existence; the quality affects the human potential for health.
The human community has a responsibility to protect, conserve, and promote the health of the environment.
Health and illness are dynamic coexisting processes which influence balance, harmony, and vitality within each individual. Both processes depend on environmentally affected and genetic capabilities, initiative, knowledge, individual choice, and value judgments. Well-being is a perception held by the individual of his or her ability to function in society and attain satisfying relationships with self and others as well as their ability to seek or find
meaning in existence.
The discipline of nursing integrates knowledge derived from empirical, aesthetic, ethical, and personal sources to provide safe care that is scientifically and culturally sound. Professional nursing is grounded in liberal arts education and requires knowledge in nursing, the other sciences, arts, the humanities, and technology. Liberally educated nurses bring a unique blend of knowledge, judgment, skills, and caring to the healthcare team that delivers treatment and services in complex, evolving healthcare systems. Nursing's social mandate is to promote health and wellness, prevent disease and disability, and care for those who are ill or dying in the settings in which they are found. Professional nurses function autonomously, as well as collaboratively with clients and interprofessionally within a multifaceted health care system providing basic organizational and systems leadership.
Professional nurses use critical thinking and methods of scientific inquiry to generate new knowledge, analyze data, recognize patterns, establish priorities, and promote evidence-based practice. Professional nurses address issues important to the profession of nursing, question dominant assumptions, and solve complex problems related to individuals, groups, and population-based health care. The professional nurse epitomizes an appropriate set of values and ethical framework for practice by consistently demonstrating core values of altruism, excellence, caring, ethics, respect, communication, and accountability. As advocates for quality outcomes and safety for all individuals, professional nurses must be knowledgeable and active in health care policy, finance, and regulatory environments.
Nursing education is an interactive teaching-learning process within a collegial and interdisciplinary environment. Education facilitates critical thinking and inquiry, ethical insight, caring, communication, creativity, an appreciation of the past, sensitivity to societal diversity, and professional competence. Teaching includes assessing, advising, guiding, facilitating, modeling, sharing knowledge, and evaluating. Learning is a lifelong self-directed process of change that includes synthesizing knowledge, skills and values necessary for expanding the dimensions of the individual, which increasingly will include graduate study for the professional nurse.