Nursing professor awarded research project grant to study faculty leadership

May 4, 2021

Janet H. Davis

Janet H. Davis, assistant professor of nursing at Purdue University Northwest (PNW), was selected as the sole recipient of the 2021 Research Project Grant for Assistant Professors by the Susan Bulkeley Butler Center for Leadership Excellence

“It’s very exciting to have the support of my academic colleagues and be able to collaborate with them on this research project,” says Davis. “I believe there is a need to prepare faculty in transformational leadership skills and competencies to prepare the next generation of nurses for what lies ahead.”

Davis’ research project entitled, “An Exploratory Study of Nursing Faculty Leadership Competencies and Styles,” seeks to identify and describe nursing educator leadership competencies, identify and measure the leadership styles of the nursing faculty, compare the educator leadership competencies against the leadership styles, and then develop strategies on transformational leadership development for nursing faculty. 

Defining transformational leadership as the ability to empower and support others while moving towards a mutual vision, Davis believes her research in identifying the leadership styles and attributes the nursing faculty use and support is just the first step in the process. A well-informed faculty development program is the long-term goal. “This research will give us an opportunity to reflect on and identify the strengths of our nursing faculty,” states Davis. “It will allow us to create a program for developing transformational leaders by building on personal leadership attributes and acquiring new competencies.”

“Dr. Davis is the first recipient of the Butler Research Project Grant for Assistant Professors for Purdue Northwest’s College of Nursing,” says Lisa Hopp, dean of the College of Nursing. “Her project will help us understand nursing faculty leadership competencies and styles. Faculty, no matter their role, serve as leaders and role models for our students. I look forward to the findings helping us understand how we can further develop these skills and competencies in the faculty.”

Davis teaches community health nursing, leadership and management at PNW with a research focus on strategies for leadership development to impact healthcare disparities. She is a Higher Learning Commission Consultant Evaluator, a Certified Nurse Educator and has authored more than 30 articles. 

The Research Project Grant for Assistant Professors is awarded each year to one faculty member within the Purdue system whose proposed project focuses on an aspect of higher education and supports the mission of the Susan Bulkeley Butler Center for Leadership Excellence, which is aimed at advancing inclusion and faculty success. Davis will receive funding to conduct her research and have one year to submit a completed report on her findings. The study sample will include nursing faculty from the Purdue Northwest and Purdue West Lafayette campuses.