CON Faculty Member Position Description

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Faculty Member Position Description Subsection: 4.4.10
Section 4.0 - Faculty Policies/Guidelines Originating Date: March 2022
Responsible Reviewing/Approving Agency:
Executive Council
Faculty Coordinating Council
Related Documents:


The purpose of this position description is to provide a broad overview of the roles of faculty members in the College of Nursing. It is aligned with College of Nursing Promotion and Tenure criteria (Appendices A1, A2, and B1, and with faculty evaluation policy. It can be used in faculty orientations and for discussions of various aspects of faculty work.

Faculty members in the College of Nursing are vital to achieving the mission and vision of the College of Nursing. Faculty have the pivotal responsibilities for developing nurse clinicians, scientists, leaders, and educators for the future, while producing or using the science that guides health improvements and ensures health equity as broadly defined by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). They have rights and responsibilities for the College’s tripartite mission within the context of the College’s strategic plan. Faculty rights and responsibilities in the University of Nebraska system are described in Sections 4.1 and 4.2 of the University of Nebraska Board of Regents Bylaws and the code of conduct is described in the University of Nebraska Medical Center Faculty Handbook.

While faculty members’ distribution of responsibilities varies based on their education and experience, all have some level of responsibility and accountability for education of students, incorporation of research-based evidence into nursing education and practice, and provision of professional service within the College of Nursing, university, and/or community and professional organizations. Faculty members differentiate their roles to focus most on two of the three areas in the tripartite mission in collaboration with their assistant deans, taking into account the needs of the College and the individual faculty member (see Appendix B-1). Faculty in the College of Nursing exhibit the UNMC ITEACH values of innovation, teamwork, excellence, accountability, courage, and healing.

Teaching and Curriculum

Faculty work collaboratively to develop curricula for degree and certificate programs, in accordance with accreditation, regulatory, and specialty requirements. Because the College of Nursing is accredited by the Commission for Collegiate Nursing Education, faculty use the AACN Essentials documents to guide curricula, along with the National Task Force and relevant specialty organization guidelines for advanced practice curricula. Curriculum development is a creative process that incorporates the latest scientific findings, professional recommendations, and faculty expert opinion about topical areas within their areas of expertise. Faculty members are responsible for implementation of faculty-approved nursing curricula and for contributing to ongoing updating and renewal of curricula to meet professional and specialty standards, adhere to accreditation requirements, and advance the state of the discipline. Curricular progression and teaching/learning strategies are expected to be based on the sciences of learning and students’ neurocognitive development. Undergraduate curricular recommendations are voted on first by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee and then by the faculty as a whole through the General Faculty Organization (GFO). Professional graduate curricular recommendations (MSN and DNP) are voted on first by the Professional Graduate Nursing Affairs Committee, shared with the faculty as a whole through GFO, and finally, voted on by the graduate faculty in the College of Nursing. PhD curricular decisions are recommended by the PhD Advisory Council in accordance with requirements of the University of Nebraska Graduate School, the accreditation requirements of the Higher Learning Commission and recommendations from AACN. Graduate faculty vote on final PhD curricular recommendations. Faculty are expected to uphold the curricula as voted on by the relevant groups and to make recommendations for changes as suggested by program evaluation outcomes and evolving curricular standards. Faculty develop creative approaches to teaching, and prepare for the courses they are teaching, collaborate with other faculty members on the teaching team, and work collaboratively with staff on preparation of syllabi. Faculty teaching clinical courses work with clinical partners to organize learning experiences that will assist students to achieve the expected competencies. They participate in evaluating courses and curricula and suggesting evidence-based improvements when needed. Faculty are expected to engage in ongoing professional development around their areas of responsibility. All faculty are expected to complete at least three hours of professional development related to teaching each year. This can be continuing education, reading professional manuscripts, attending webinars, or other activities that will support growth as teachers.

Research and Scholarship

Faculty are expected to engage in research or scholarship, as appropriate for their faculty appointment, goals, and expectations. Scholarship in academic nursing has been defined by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. All faculty are expected to make professional presentations and submit manuscripts for publication that relate to their major areas of responsibility. Faculty members pursuing programs of research are expected to obtain external funding for their research and disseminate research results through scientific presentations and papers in peer-reviewed publications. All faculty are held to standards of integrity and the requirements of human subjects research when appropriate. Faculty whose primary responsibility is teaching may address scholarship by submitting manuscripts with colleagues describing teaching strategies, case analyses, opinion pieces, clinical updates, and other forms of scholarship related to their teaching.

Practice and Service

Service is an important component of the faculty role and includes service within the College, university, professional community, and broader community. The form of faculty service may include committee memberships or chair roles, faculty practice, and participating in community service activities, as a few examples. The amount and type of service in which a faculty member engages depends on their goals, the needs within the College and university, and the faculty member’s annual assignment. Attending General Faculty Organization and campus division meeting are examples. Other examples include course group meetings and committee meetings. Faculty members are active members of the university community, serving on committees and task forces, and engaging in discussions about broader University of Nebraska Medical Center and University of Nebraska system initiatives. Faculty also are expected to provide service to the broader professional community, including professional associations, boards of directors, alumni and community groups.

Faculty members partner with clinical and community agencies for educational, research, and practice initiatives and account for the needs of communities when making curricular, research, and clinical practice decisions. Faculty members who engage in faculty practice as part of their faculty role work with the Morehead Center for Nursing Practice to arrange and manage practice activities. Service is a way of operationalizing faculty members’ professional responsibilities and leadership contributions as well as a way of participating in shared governance and professional growth. The rules of faculty shared governance including roles and responsibilities are described in Policy 4.1, Rules of the Faculty Organization.

Levels of engagement in service are described in the College of Nursing promotion and tenure documents in Appendices A1 and A2 of the College of Nursing Wiki.


The work of faculty occurs individually and collectively. Faculty members should work with their division assistant deans and mentors to pursue career development opportunities and scholarly activities. They are accountable for developing and evaluating annual goals and discussing those with their assistant dean as part of planning for the following year. As faculty become more experienced, they are expected to mentor more junior faculty members. Collectively, faculty participate on College and university committees, contributing to decision-making and implementing final decisions. Faculty support the wellbeing of themselves and other faculty members through clear and positive communications, keeping promises, and resolving differences of opinion in respectful ways.

Faculty engage in shared governance through the General Faculty Organization and its rules guiding faculty members’ roles and responsibilities related to instruction, research, practice, and service. Mechanisms for shared governance include the Faculty Coordinating Council (composed of standing committee chairs and division representatives) and the General Faculty Organization (which is a community of the whole faculty), as well as campus-level discussions in division meetings. Faculty use these formalized mechanisms to communicate about issues and decisions facing the college before decisions are made. The faculty role is collaborative, consultative, and collegial. Participation in shared governance is expected and ensures the college benefits from accumulated experiences, wisdom and multiple viewpoints that are diverse and inclusive. Faculty participation in shared governance provides a vehicle for involvement and participation of the faculty, adds assurance of the importance of diversity, inclusion, and accessibility, and weights the importance and seriousness of a diversity of voices in decision making.


Faculty members collaborate with staff in supporting and advancing the College’s mission. Whether working with members of the Student Services staff or instructional design staff, faculty focus on ways to support students in their learning. Staff in the Niedfelt Nursing Research Center support research and scholarly efforts, and faculty are expected to adhere to guidelines for working with these staff in order to manage timely completion of proposals, reports, media, and other initiatives.


Faculty are responsible for establishing admission and progression criteria for academic programs and implementing those criteria. Faculty members serve as mentors and coaches of students and serve as advisors for students in relation to academic issues and career development. They assess students’ learning needs and competencies and organize learning experiences to facilitate student learning. Faculty serve as role models for students with respectful, culturally sensitive, and clear communications, and carefully managing boundaries and perceptions arising from social media as referenced in the UNMC Social Media policy.

Resources and Information

The College of Nursing has a variety of resources available to support faculty work. Faculty members with a need for support of their work should work with their division assistant deans or the relevant associate dean to determine if College resources are available to meet a specific need, or if alternate resources might be available through the university or philanthropic funds. For example, faculty members requesting funds to help support professional travel would discuss their needs with their division assistant dean. Faculty members prepare annual reports as requested or as specified by policy. For example, faculty members should contribute to annual course reports which are prepared by course coordinators. Faculty members with endowed positions are expected to write annual letters to donors of their endowed positions.

Policies and resources are located on the College of Nursing Wiki and on the College of Nursing Enrichment site on the learning management system.


The purpose of faculty evaluation is to promote ongoing growth, development, and learning. Evaluations come from a variety of sources, including student evaluations of instruction, annual self-evaluations and annual evaluations by supervisors, evaluations of courses through curriculum committees, comments from student exit surveys, and voluntary peer evaluations. These processes are consistent with the UNMC ITEACH values of excellence and accountability and help ensure that faculty expertise is optimized and that resources are used to support faculty work to the extent possible. Faculty members are expected to participate in the annual written evaluation process with supervisors and to set measurable goals for ongoing development and effectiveness. Evaluations also form the basis for merit raises in salary.

Appointment Requirements

Faculty members must hold a graduate degree in nursing or a related field as appropriate for their responsibilities. In addition, they should have experience and demonstrate skill in clinical nursing practice, teaching and curriculum development, or research; be skilled in interpersonal relations and communications, and have demonstrated the potential for scholarly activity. Faculty members who are nurses must hold an unencumbered license as a registered nurse to practice nursing in Nebraska or a compact state and must follow the policies of the Nebraska Board of Nursing with respect to licensure. Faculty member should demonstrate at least beginning professional leadership activity in professional organizations. Those who are advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) and practicing as APRNs must hold a Nebraska license as an APRN. Terms of employment are in keeping with current University of Nebraska policies.