Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Theresa L. Pulos

Second Supervisor

Katharine Rumrill-Teece


Researchers have studied the phenomenon of the novice nurse educator transition to academia, however there is little understood about the academic nurse leader’s role in supporting transition. Exactly what is needed by novice educators as they transition to academia has been studied in the form of peer mentorship, but there is a gap in the nursing literature related to the academic nurse leader’s role. This study used a qualitative design, specifically grounded theory. Inclusion criteria for participants included master’s prepared, novice nurse educators as defined by being in their role less than 5 years and employed in an accredited associate’s degree (AD) nursing program or Bachelor of Science (BS) nursing program in New York State (NYS). Purposive sampling and face to face interviews were implemented. The phenomenon of interest was the transition experience of the novice nurse educator. The emergent theory, leading through transition: the academic nurse leader role, includes the categories of changing direction, navigating new territory, and leading novices through transition. The model will guide academic nurse leaders to understand and support the process of transition with the intent to improve the novice’s experience. Recommendations to improve novice nurse educator transition to academia include mandated leadership training for academic nurse leaders prior to assuming the role, providing all novice nurse educators with a formalized orientation plan, and assigned mentoring with a seasoned nurse educator peer. Further research is needed to define the significance of the academic nurse leader’s role supporting the transition of the novice nurse educator.

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