Becoming a nurse faculty leader: Taking risks by doing theright thing

Sara Horton-Deutsch, Karen Pardue, Patricia K. Young, Mary Lou Morales, Judith Halstead, Catherine Pearsall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


Risk taking is a key aspect of academic leadership essential to meeting the challenges and opportunities in higher education. What are the practices of risk taking in nurse faculty leaders? This interpretive phenomenological study examines the experience and meaning of risk taking among nurse leaders. The theme of doing the right thing is brought forth through in-depth hermeneutic analysis of 14 individual interviews and two focus group narratives. The practice of doing the right thing is propelled and captured by leaders through a sense professional responsibility, visioning the future, and being true to self and follow one's core values. This study develops an evidence base for incorporating ways of doing the right thing in leadership development activities at a time when there is tremendous need for highly effective leaders in academic settings. Examining the practices of doing the right thing as a part of leadership development lays a foundation for building the next generation of nursing leaders prepared to navigate the ever-changing and complex academic and health care environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-96
Number of pages8
JournalNursing outlook
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2014


  • Academic leadership
  • Leadership
  • Moral courage
  • Nurse faculty leaders
  • Nursing vision
  • Professional responsibility
  • Risk taking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Medicine(all)

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  • Cite this

    Horton-Deutsch, S., Pardue, K., Young, P. K., Morales, M. L., Halstead, J., & Pearsall, C. (2014). Becoming a nurse faculty leader: Taking risks by doing theright thing. Nursing outlook, 62(2), 89-96.