Academy for Diverse Emerging Nurse Leaders adds new March 2024 session

Vanderbilt has added a second session of its Academy for Diverse Emerging Nurse Leaders to take place March 18-22, 2024. Applications for the week-long academy are now open through February 26.

The unique leadership development program is led by experienced leaders from diverse backgrounds who are committed to equipping nurses for future leadership roles. It was specifically created by Vanderbilt School of Nursing and Vanderbilt University Medical Center to serve the needs of nurses from underrepresented groups in nursing leadership and/or those who are committed to expanding and supporting diversity in nursing leadership.

Participants will take part in sessions with national nursing leaders and leadership development experts, as well as learn managerial skills relating to finance, strategic planning and team building. Following the initial five-day, in-person meeting, fellows participate in virtual sessions, receive mentorship from an executive coach and institutional mentor, and receive financial support to develop leadership projects in their home institutions over the next twelve months.

VUSN Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Rolanda Johnson, PhD, MSN, RN, and VUMC Senior Director for Nurse Diversity and Inclusion Mamie Williams, PhD, MPH, MSN, RN, FNP-BC, co-direct the academy, which premiered in November 2022 and welcomed its second cohort in November 2023.

Johnson and Williams say the fellows program is different from other professional development opportunities in that it incorporates and builds on the lived experiences of diverse health care and academic leaders who have navigated similar leadership paths. The participants explore the challenges of being a leader from an underrepresented group in nursing leadership as well as the challenges of supporting and expanding diversity in nursing.

Past participants call the academy “life-changing,” “affirming” and “the best program I’ve ever attended.” Many participants say that the most valuable aspects of the academy are that it provides mentorship and that real-life leaders discuss their experiences and how they navigated and handled challenges along their journeys.

The expansion of the Academy for Diverse Emerging Nurse Leaders to twice a year is made possible by a grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, with support from VUSN alumna Leslie Jeter and members of the VUSN Dean’s Advisory Board.

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