MMU Nursing Professor to Present Leadership Research at Conference in D.C.

January 3, 2022

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In March, Mount Marty University professor and advisor Dr. Krystal Diedrichsen will give a presentation of her research on authentic leadership at the 2022 Creating Healthy Work Environments, an annual nursing honor society conference held in Washington, D.C. Nursing Professor, Krystal Diedrichsen, standing in Avera Simulation Center

An alumnus of the MMU nursing program, Dr. Diedrichsen worked for nearly 10 years in the Yankton area before pursuing her master's and starting as an assistant nursing professor at Mount Marty. This past May marked the completion of her doctorate, along with her dissertation work on authentic leadership in undergraduate nursing education.
When asked what inspired her research topic, Dr. Diedrichsen said, "Everyone in healthcare is aware that there's opportunity for improvement and how nurses and other healthcare leadership function. It does tend to be a fairly stressful environment, so looking at how we can make that better, improving those situations, and providing the best opportunities for nurses to be successful, which, in turn, helps us provide the very best care for our patients."

Through her research, Dr. Diedrichsen found that when nursing faculty felt their leadership cared about what they were doing, were transparent in their approach, and self-aware enough to admit when they needed more information or assistance, it empowered them to be their best as nursing educators. 

"What that leads to is nursing students who are able to role model that authentic leadership behavior," explained Dr. Diedrichsen. "In every aspect of nursing, there's some component of leadership that's required. When students can learn that early on in their nursing education, they're more likely to be effective and authentic in their leadership throughout their career." 

Aside from presenting her dissertation defense and publishing her work on ProQuest, the 2022 Creating Healthy Work Environments Conference will be Dr. Diedrichsen's first opportunity to share her findings with the public. Dr. Diedrichsen also hopes to publish her work in an academic nursing journal soon.

Dr. Diedrichsen loves that her role allows her to connect with MMU students. 

"I love to share that same great experience that I had as a student, that personal faculty interaction," Dr. Diedrichsen said. "Feeling supported as a student was what I liked most about Mount Marty, so the opportunity to return that to our students has been wonderful."