Eight things I love about U (University) - Resilience portraits of nurse academics and academic development through resilience education
International Journal of University Teaching and Faculty Development
Nova Science Publishers
School of Nursing and Midwifery / Nursing, Midwifery and Health Services Research
This study focused on nurse academics working in a University setting to identify the key characteristics of resilience displayed by these nurses. Nursing academia is stressful. Prolific quantitative research which measures job stress and resilience are available however, there is a dearth of qualitative studies which hear the personal narratives pertaining to why nurse academics remain and thrive in a stressful workplace. The lens of Portraiture, an innovative qualitative methodology provides vignettes of resilience revealing underlying themes of resilience where personal stories and events are presented as narrative. Portraiture recognises the inherent value of the nurses' stories giving attention to the nature of their resilience. Interpretation illuminates the portraits or verbal canvasses of the told experience, reflecting 'love' rather than 'hate' of working within an academic setting. Eight themes were identified. The portraits highlight a sometimes imperceptible theme of resilience within academic nursing. Academic nurses are resilient; they rely on the social support of colleagues, family and friends to continue to bear their mantle of responsibility. They take pride in their work and accomplishments and give to others altruistically. They laugh, they love nursing and they keep the needs of their students foremost. This paper focuses on the impact of University work on nurse academics and in particular how they remain resilient in their changing University environment. Resilience education is forwarded as an extension to academic development and as having a role to play in the retention of faculty.