February 2, 2007
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - Sharie Metcalfe, associate professor of nursing at Illinois Wesleyan University, was among 15 distinguished nurse educators from across Illinois selected by the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) to receive a Nurse Educator Fellowship Award in a program aimed at retaining well-qualified nursing faculty.
The $10,000 fellowship award will support expenses related to professional development and continuing education. As part of the fellowship, Metcalfe will collaborate with the IBHE and the Illinois Center for Nursing, which was formed by the state last year to address a shortage of nurses and nursing faculty in the state.
In her application for the fellowship, Metcalfe said, "In this era of change and new purposes in professional nursing, educators of nurses have the responsibility of defining new goals and outcomes in our educational process-I want to be a part of this future." Toward this goal, she is participating in the development of a new curriculum at Illinois Wesleyan's School of Nursing.
"It is challenges such as these that invigorate my commitment to nursing education," she said. "My involvement in ... the exploration of the nursing shortage has intensified my belief that nursing education shares the responsibility for generating enthusiasm for nursing and commitment to the profession."
Metcalfe plans to use the fellowship funds to attend national or international programs and workshops, with the intent of developing clinical simulations and using technology to improve student learning and enhance positive experiences in the hospital setting. Her additional goals are to develop creative teaching strategies that generate a commitment to evidence-based practice as an essential aspect of professional nursing, and to identify pragmatic approaches to using data at the undergraduate level to meet Institute of Medicine recommendations on nursing knowledge to promote safety in care.
Donna Hartweg, the Caroline F. Rupert professor of nursing and director of the School of Nursing, nominated Metcalfe for the fellowship, noting her dedication and leadership in teaching, scholarship and community service. During Metcalfe's 28 years at the School of Nursing, she has chaired accreditation committees and curricular development initiatives and has twice served as acting director. Working with the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Bloomington/Normal Sister Cities Board, she has been an international speaker in the sister city of Vladimir, Russia, assisting nursing leadership to improve nursing education in Russia-service projects that Hartweg said have enriched Metcalfe's teaching at IWU. This international interest also led Metcalfe to develop a semester-long study abroad program in the School of Nursing's new curriculum. Metcalfe received an internal Curriculum Development Grant to fund a trip to Madrid in 2006 as part of the initiative to promote linguistic skills and cultural competence in nursing graduates.
Contact: Ann Aubry, (309) 556-3181