Mapping It Out: Our Strategy for Excellence

Success doesn’t just happen: It has to be planned. The LSU Health New Orleans School of Nursing makes a disciplined effort to understand and commit to actions that will move the school forward into a successful future. To accomplish this, the school has developed a strategy map that is designed to guide efforts from 2020 through 2022.

LSU strategy map diagram.

“The strategy map is similar to a strategic plan but provides overall direction to guide our future and decision-making, while maintaining flexibility for innovation,” says Demetrius J. Porche, DNS, PhD, PCC, ANEF, FACHE, FAANP, FAAN, Dean of the School of Nursing. “Our goal is to use this map to help us improve nursing, population and global health outcomes in a dynamic health care environment.”

To achieve that goal, the map outlines eight focus areas of opportunity for the School of Nursing:

  1. Enhance academic excellence
  2. Expand research programs and culture
  3. Transform academic-practice partnerships
  4. Execute strategic presence
  5. Optimize the organizational environment
  6. Maintain a civil, collaborative, caring, diverse and inclusive culture, climate and healthy work environment
  7. Enrich effective communication channels
  8. Permeate continuous quality improvement decision-making

The mapping process happens every three years. “Our previous strategy map helped us successfully initialize or implement the majority of our priority items between 2017 and 2019,” Dr. Porche says.

“This map is a great tool that will help us make continued progress in efficiently and effectively achieving organizational and academic excellence.”

Demetrius J. Porche, DNS, PhD, PCC, ANEF, FACHE, FAANP, FAAN

This process to develop the 2020–2022 strategy map took about a year and involved stakeholders including faculty, students, customers and consumers. “The administrative team conducted an environmental scan, evaluated our accomplishments from the existing strategic plan, and reviewed our mission, values and key strategies,” Dr. Porche explains. “Administrative council members participated, and students were given an opportunity to provide input. Faculty provided input into the strategic direction by evaluating the existing strategic map for relevancy and where we should go in the future. Our academic practice partners were queried during our nurse executive meeting about future directions.”

Aligning with University Values

The strategy map provides an at-a-glance picture of where the School of Nursing is heading. It aligns with the foundational elements of the LSU Health Sciences Center plan: to be recognized as an outstanding comprehensive public academic health sciences center that serves the needs of all citizens of the state of Louisiana by delivering professional education and training, conducting innovative research, providing high-quality patient care, and engaging in diverse outreach initiatives.

“Our strategy map is consistent with the direction of nursing schools within academic health centers,” Dr. Porche says. “It is also integral to and complementary to the LSU Health Sciences Center strategic direction.”

The strategy map and the School of Nursing strategic plan also align with the philosophy and core values of the university. These include fostering a collaborative culture that encourages excellence, risk-taking and an open-minded approach to challenges; maintenance of a culturally adept and globally engaged university culture; and celebration of innovative thinking.

Ensuring Positive Progress

The strategy map represents the promise the School of Nursing sees in its potential and a schoolwide commitment to achieve that potential. To get there, the school looks to the map to ensure that it makes decisions that are relevant to its communities of interest and that align with national nursing initiatives.

“The map has helped us identify work we want to do in our eight areas of focus and serves as a visual reminder of the path we want to stay on,” Dr. Porche says.

The work ahead includes some exciting initiatives proposed on the map. These include expansion of academic-practice partnerships, actualizations of a preceptor academy, implementation of a nurse residency and fellowship programs, an expanded academic program and establishment of a PhD program in nursing, among others.

Because the plan’s goals, objectives and strategies are established in each of the eight areas of opportunity, they ensure the ability to regularly monitor outcomes and incorporate that data into future decision-making. “The strategy map will be reviewed for progress by the administrative council at least twice a year,” Dr. Porche says.

“This is an exciting time for our school,” he says. “This map is a great tool that will help us make continued progress in efficiently and effectively achieving organizational and academic excellence.”

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