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NEXus: What's in it for Us? Enhancing Faculty and Student Opportunities through a Doctoral Consortium
Southern Nursing Research Society (2014)
  • Barbara K Haas, University of Texas at Tyler
  • Elizabeth Reifsnider, Arizona State University
  • Pauline Kommenich
Introduction: Faced with decreasing fiscal resources and faculty shortages, doctoral nursing programs must seek creative solutions to maintain rigor and support scholarship while utilizing available resources. The purpose of this presentation is to describe collaborative opportunities for student learning and faculty scholarship through the Nursing Education Exchange (NEXus) consortium.

Method(s): Partnership is open to any university offering online or hybrid nursing doctoral courses. Patterned after regional, national and international consortia, this consortium provides forums for faculty in university schools of nursing to meet in focused groups around topics referred to as clusters. These clusters were formed to identify courses that can be shared across institutions. Students from member institutions have access to these courses at a common price. Faculty representatives from member schools meet semi-annually to address issues common to the programs and consortium.

Results: Fifteen universities currently participate as full or affiliating collaborators in NEXus. Beginning in the West, institutions from the Southern, Midwestern, and Eastern regions have also joined. In the past five years, 234 students benefitted from coursework taken through the NEXus collaboration. Students report courses taken through NEXus expand their horizons, give them opportunity to engage with a broader group of faculty and to take courses either not offered or out of sequence for their program of study. Faculty in one of the clusters piloted offering a 3-credit course provided in 5-week blocks at three consortium institutions. Faculty representatives from participating institutions have one article published, a second in review, and a third in process.

Discussion & Conclusions: NEXus has set the stage for more collaboration in doctoral nursing education in order for programs to become more collegial and cooperative rather than competitive. NEXus addresses the faculty shortage through course sharing. The collaboration encouraged by the consortium arrangement can lead to strong interinstitutional relationships that foster scholarly opportunities for faculty and students. NEXus interactions have provided faculty opportunities for scholarly exchanges, research, mentoring and publication.
Publication Date
February, 2014
San Antonio, TX
Citation Information
Haas, B. K., Reifsnider, E., & Kommenich, P. (2014, February). NEXus: What's in it for Us? 28th Annual Research Conference. San Antonio, TX: Southern Nursing Research Society.