Executive Nurse Leadership Academy

Welcome to the Executive Nurse Leadership Academy (ENLA) website. You are warmly welcomed and highly encouraged to consider applying to this exciting program to grow professionally, build connections and enhance your impact on our health system, patients and community. Please review the eligibility requirements detailed below and identify the academy tier that interests you and supports your career goals.

ENLA Mission Statement:

Cultivating a legacy of bold, confident and equipped nurse leaders.

Academy Goals

  • Develop and prepare outstanding nurses as transformational leaders.
  • Prepare nurses to lead with diversity of thought in various competency domains: business, strategic planning, lean, finance, emotional intelligence and operations
  • Demonstrate outcomes in leading through effective public speaking, oral presentation, written communication and project execution.

Support Cone Health’s culture by providing a succession planning program to prepare nurse leaders to transition to the varying layers of nursing leadership.

Academy Selection

The Executive Nurse Leadership Academy consists of four tiers, designed to cultivate nursing leadership competencies needed at all leadership stages. In the program’s first year, the following number of candidates will be selected to participate in each tier:

  • Tier 1- RN, Charge Nurses, RN 3 and RN 4
    • 5 participants
  • Tier 2- Assistant Directors/Managers/Supervisors
    • 4 participants
  • Tier 3- Directors
    • 3 participants
  • Tier 4- Executive Directors/ Chief Nursing Officers (CNO), Vice Presidents (VPs)
    • 1-2 participants

The Executive Nurse Leadership Academy selection committee will review applications and present recommendations for candidate acceptance to The Nurse Executive Council (NEC) for final selection.

Academy Requirements

Participant Pre-Requisites
Time Requirement Per Month
Minimum of 2 years of nursing experience and have a baccalaureate degree in nursing
40 hours
Minimum of 3 Years of nursing experience and have a master’s degree in nursing. Prior leadership experience as charge RN, Preceptor, Committee Lead
40 hours
Minimum of 3 years of Nursing, has served in a role of assistant director or assistant unit manager or had direct supervisory experience
40 hours
Minimum of 5 years of nursing experience and has served minimally in the role of department director
40 hours

Candidates will be asked to commit to completion of the academy and full participation in the program. Failure to meet these commitments may result in dismissal from the program.

Application Process

There are three steps to the application process. Each step must be completed in full by the April 10, 2021 deadline.

  1. An application must be filled out by the applicant.
  2. The applicant will submit a Curriculum Vitae or Resume with the application as described in the application.
  3. The applicant’s direct supervisor will complete the Direct Supervisor’s Recommendation Form and submit this form directly to the selection committee by emailing it to enla@conehealth.com.
  4. The applicant will provide two Letters of Recommendation from other leaders within the organization.
  5. The applicant will submit a short essay from the applicant describing your development needs and expectations during the academy. (250 words)

Academy Structure

  • ENLA activities will be completed within 12 months for Tiers 1-2, and 15 months for Tiers 3- 4.
  • Participants will be required to spend approximately 8 hours per week on activity completion and meet with their mentor for 30 to 60 minutes biweekly. This results in a total of 40 hours per month.
  • Participants will be required to attend cohort sessions.
    • Each participant will complete pre-work in preparation for each session
    • Continuing Education credits will be available for each session
  • Each participant will complete a project aligned with organization’s strategic plan
  • Participants will receive assistance in writing and publishing for projects
  • Self-assessments will be completed at the beginning and end of the academy program
  • Selected mentors will be assigned to each participant
  • Participants will attend and actively participate in six cohort sessions
  • Participants will be required to perform learning activities for their specific Tier.

Four Levels

The Executive Nurse Leadership Academy consists of four levels or tiers. These tiers meet the needs of nursing leadership competencies for each stage of leadership.

Tier 1- RN/ Charge RN/ RN 3/ RN 4 - Novice in Leadership- Gains entry level knowledge of leadership

  • Role of shared governance
  • Human resource skills and leadership presence
  • Interpreting quality data and processes
  • Beginning coaching, mentoring, LEAN, innovation, situation, change and financial management

Tier 2- Assistant Directors & Managers/Supervisors- Beginner in Leadership

  • Staff engagement, safe work environments
  • Evidence based practice, risk management, LEAN
  • Change, situation management, emergency planning, project management
  • Relationship management, exploration of who you are being as a leader, emotional intelligence
  • Oral and written presentation, operational effectiveness, business of healthcare

Tier 3- Directors- Competent in Leadership

  • Nursing practice, leadership legacy, culture innovation
  • Transformational leadership, Healthcare policy, systems thinking
  • Relationship management, emotional intelligence, leadership presence, community relations
  • Operational effectiveness, business of healthcare

Tier 4- Executive Directors/CNO/VP- Expert in Leadership

  • Risk mitigation, contractual relations
  • System-wide initiatives
  • Healthcare policy, business of health care
  • Leader presence, EQ, negotiation, community relations
  • Oral/written presentation

The curriculum offers a variety of activities including didactic content, coaching and mentoring, and immersion in experiential learning.

Participants will be engaged in active learning experiences throughout the program, including:

  • Self-Assessment
  • 180 Assessment
  • Small Group Discussions
  • Peer Networking
  • Leadership Development Plans
  • Role Play
  • 1:1 Coaching
  • Course work prep
  • Case Studies
  • Academy Project Completion
  • Simulations
  • Mentoring

Length of Time in the Program

2021 Program Length
Tier 1
12 months
Tier 2
12 months
Tier 3
15 months
Tier 4
15 months

Cohort Session Schedule

Course Calendar

Group Work
May 2021
Friday, May 7, 2021
Session 1
Welcome and Orientation- Big Picture Day Nursing
July 2021
Friday, July 23, 2021
Session 2
Performance Improvement Book Club: Chapters 1 & 2
September 2021
Friday, September 24, 2021
Session 3
Strategic Management Book Club: Chapters 3 & 4
November 2021
Friday, November 19, 2021
Session 4
Leadership Presence Book Club: Chapters 5 & 6
January 2022
Friday, January 21, 2022
Session 5
Financial Stewardship Book Club: Chapters 7 & 8
March 2022
Friday, March 25, 2022
Session 6
Understanding your People
(Applications open for FY 22 Academy)
April 2022
Friday, April 29, 2022 
Presentations, Celebration Post Assessment

Thank you for your interest in the Executive Nurse Leadership Academy at Cone Health. Please feel free to contact us at enla@conehealth.com if you have questions about the program or the application process.