College of Nursing dean candidate talks to students, faculty about vision

Carolyn Pippin

Barbara Broome, a candidate for the dean of the College of Nursing, spoke to faculty members and students about her plans and views on the future of nursing Tuesday morning.

“It’s like coming back home after being away for a long vacation,” Broome said.

Broome received her bachelor’s and master’s degree at Kent State and also previously has taught at the university.

She currently serves as the associate dean and professor for the College of Nursing at the University of Southern Alabama. Broome specializes in mental health, adult health and women’s health.

Members of the audience wanted to know her vision for the future of the College of Nursing.

“I think the first six months will be a matter of … me getting to know you, who you are, where you’re at and what you’re teaching,” Broome said. It will be “what do you need, and what can I provide for you in the immediate period?”

Broome’s five-year plan includes the college having more research, which would happen by mentoring, nurturing and providing opportunities to the faculty. She wants to see the enrollment stay very stable, if not increase, and for Kent State to become a research hub with exceptional Ph.D. and master’s programs.

“Health care is changing and evolving,” Broome said. “We as nurses have to be at the forefront. We need to educate and prepare nurses to practice at the highest level that they can. I think my role is to help us move forward and meet those needs.”

Broome said by the year 2020, 20 percent of the population would be over the age of 65. People are going to have chronic diseases, and nurses have to be prepared.

Broome said the faculty needs to be more diverse and sensitive as society becomes more culturally diverse.

“We have to prepare to care for a diverse population, aging population and care for our militaries as they come back,” she said. “Many will have mental health issues that we have not seen before.”

Broome said she doesn’t think quality should be different among the Kent State satellite campuses and the main campus.

“I think the communication between a satellite campus and Kent campus should be very clear so we can all work towards the same goal,” Broome said.

Broome said her biggest challenge was experiencing the change to a 100 percent acceleration program where all of the classes are online. She said people have to hold the students to the same standards and not let the fact that these students are more challenging intimidate them.

“It’s a whole unique experience,” Broome said.

Broome’s leadership style centers on communication.

“Change is hard … when you talk, discuss, share and be honest, change happens and it’s a little bit easier,” she said.

Broome understands that people know what needs to be done.

“My style of management is not really hands-off,” she said. “I believe in seeing and understanding what’s going on, but in the same notion, I’m not going to stand there and say ‘you didn’t do this ‘i’ or cross this ‘t.’”

Shirley Hemminger, associate lecturer in the College of Nursing, said she thought Broome addressed all questions asked by the audience, which was made up of many from the College of Nursing.

“She was able to address her views on both undergrad and graduate education,” she said, “as well as some of the things she sees for the future of Kent State College of Nursing.”

Contact Carolyn Pippin at [email protected].