The nursing-related organization I selected for analysis is Pacific College, a for-profit nursing school in Costa Mesa, California. According to the organization’s mission statement, it is “committed to providing the highest standards of education by striving to foster a continuous process of intellectual growth, character development, and academic integrity to achieve professional and personal success in the student’s chosen profession” (Pacific College, 2018). The mission statement also includes three distinct learning outcomes and characterizes education as the top priority (Pacific College, 2018).
In the college’s vision statement, it sets forth the goal of being viewed as a “progressive learning environment where the values of professionalism, altruism, collaboration, and a sense of personal and professional identity are the primary objectives for inclusion as a member of a global and diverse community” (Pacific College, 2018). Therefore, even though Pacific College is technically a for-profit organization, its mission and vision statements reflect a desire to be considered a legitimate and innovative leader in providing education for its students. These desires are also reflected in the organization’s values. The values of Pacific College correspond to the first letters of the word “PACIFIC;” they include Professionalism, Altruism, Community, Identity, Fulfillment, Inclusion, and Collaboration (Pacific College, 2018). Each of these values is tied to a short description of the value, and they all include the caveat that they apply on both the individual level and the institutional level (Pacific College, 2018).
Pacific College’s stated mission, vision, and values are consistent with the words of William Nelson, the College’s president, in his introduction to the college’s course catalog. In the letter, Nelson states that “your education is our priority,” and he highlights the need to optimize education for healthcare professionals in today’s increasingly complex healthcare landscape (Nelson, 2018). However, it is important to note that court records show that Pacific College is currently under investigation for financial aid fraud (Emery, 2018), and the words of some within the organization show that some recent conduct appears to contradict the college’s stated mission, vision, and values. For instance, James Spertus, who is the attorney representing Pacific College in the case, has stated that the organization is seeking reimbursement for financial aid from students who have already completed coursework (Emery, 2018). Also, artifacts collected by investigators suggest that Pacific College engaged in grade inflation, falsification of attendance information, and efforts to push students through graduation, even when they had not fulfilled academic standards (Emery, 2018).
According to Schneider, Erhart, and Macey (2013), organizational culture refers to the fundamental assumptions and organizational values of an organization, while organizational climate refers to the meanings individuals attach to their daily workplace experiences. The organizational culture helps shape the organizational climate, but other factors may also play a role. According to Pacific College’s president, the organization has a mission-focused culture that emphasizes collaboration, in which staff members work closely to support the educational needs of students (Nelson, 2018). However, because of the financial problems the college is currently facing, some have characterized the climate as one in which workers are pressured to pass students and ensure that the college stays in business (Emery, 2018).
Examining these matters is significant to my role as a nurse leader for several reasons. First, in any nursing-related organizational environment—whether it is a nursing school or a patient care facility—it is important to ensure that considerations of profit do not get in the way of the organization’s fundamental mission. As a nurse leader, I will strive to make sure that I foster a culture that supports patient safety and high-quality care, regardless of external financial considerations. Also, considering these issues reminds me that I will inevitably be leading nurses with a wide variety of previous educational and work experiences, and their expectations may be determined by the previous organizational cultures and climates to which they have been exposed. Remaining cognizant of this reality can help me tailor my conduct toward individual team members with different experiences.