Leadership program for diverse new nurse leaders and faculty launched

Academy for Diverse Emerging Nurse Leaders is next to a circle made of hands in different colors

Vanderbilt University School of Nursing is creating a new leadership development program for nurses new in health care leadership and academic positions who are from groups historically underrepresented in nursing and/or those who support them. The Academy for Diverse Emerging Nurse Leaders will be held in Nashville November 14-18. Applications for the inaugural class of fellows are now being accepted.

“The need for nursing faculty and nurse leaders from groups historically underrepresented in nursing is well established, but research shows a need for career development resources that address the specific needs and challenges of diverse nurse leaders,” said Pamela Jeffries, PhD, FAAN, ANEF, FSSH, dean of Vanderbilt School of Nursing and Valere Potter Distinguished Professor of Nursing. “We believe that the knowledge, mentorship, strategy and skills that new leaders will attain via the Academy for Diverse Emerging Nurse Leaders will empower them to continue to advance and lead.”

Headshot of Dr. Rolanda Johnson, wearing a white jacket and print blouse

Rolanda Johnson

VUSN Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Rolanda Johnson and Vanderbilt University Medical Center Senior Director for Nurse Diversity and Inclusion Mamie Williams will co-direct the academy, which is designed for nurses who have been in academic or health care leadership roles for less than three years.

“What makes this fellows program different from other professional development opportunities is that it incorporates and builds on the lived experiences of diverse faculty and health care leaders who have navigated a similar leadership path,” Johnson said. “It explores the challenges of being a leader from an underrepresented group as well as the challenges of supporting and expanding diversity in nursing leadership.”

Headshot of Mamie Williams, MSN, MPH,

Mamie Williams

The academy is taught by experienced faculty and health care leaders from diverse backgrounds, and is specifically designed to serve the needs of new and emerging nurse leaders and faculty. In addition to the initial five-day, in-person meeting, fellows will also participate in virtual sessions, receive mentorship from an executive coach and institutional mentor and develop a leadership project.

Williams said that the idea for the academy resonated with her as she thought about her own nurse leadership journey of more than 25 years. “This leadership academy, based on specialized education, discussions and interactions with peers and diverse nurse leaders, affords the emerging leader an opportunity to thoughtfully design their leadership journey,” she said.

She and Johnson said the academy was developed to help new nursing faculty and new nurse leaders build the skills, gain the knowledge, and build a network of colleagues and mentors to help them advance their careers, and in turn, mentor other emerging nurse leaders.

Applications for the first cohort of the Academy for Emerging Diverse Nurse Leaders are now open and available at Emerging/Apply. For more information and details on the academy, visit nursing.vanderbilt.edu/academy.