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Academy Purpose and Overview

The Gerontological Nursing Leadership Academy (GNLA) is an 18-month mentored leadership development experience offered by Sigma. The purpose of the academy is to prepare and position nurses in various healthcare settings to lead interprofessional teams in the improvement of healthcare quality for older adults and their families. Designed for experienced gerontological nurses, the Fellows of the GNLA are chosen through a competitive  selection process. 

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The academy curriculum uses a behavioral approach for developing leadership knowledge and competence through a framework of three domains: 
  • Individual leadership development
  • Advancing nursing practice through leadership of an interprofessional team leadership project
  • Expanding scope of influence: organization, community, profession

Using a variety of educational strategies for developing leadership behaviors, the GNLA employs the Kouzes and Posner “The Leadership Challenge®” model as a fundamental platform for the academy. This model proposes that leadership is a measurable, learnable, and teachable set of behaviors. Fellows in the GNLA operationalize these learned behaviors by leading an interprofessional team project that is designed to improve health outcomes for older adults. Evidence of the Fellow’s behavioral leadership development is demonstrated through the expanded scope of influence over the course of the academy experience.

The GNLA is focused on developing nurse leaders who will advance interprofessional practice and, thus, encourages Fellow applicants to consider Leadership Mentors from disciplines outside of nursing as well as from the nursing profession. It is recommended that Leadership Mentors be employed in organizations other than that in which the Fellow applicant is employed. The chosen Leadership Mentor should not have a direct reporting relationship with the Fellow applicant.

Components of the GNLA Experience:

Fellows selected for the GNLA will:
  • Attend and actively participate in two intensive three day leadership development workshops with his/her chosen Leadership Mentor.  
  • Attendance is mandatory for both the Fellow and the Leadership Mentor at both workshops.
  • Build relationships and communicate regularly with his/her Leadership Mentor and Faculty Advisor in both dyad and triad forums via conference calls, Skype, or another live format.
  • Use the triad relationships as the foundation to meet the expectations of the GNLA. 
  • Conduct an in-depth leadership self-assessment process and based upon assessment findings and design an Individual Leadership Development Plan.
  • Document the leadership development experience via personal journaling.
  • Plan, design, and facilitate two in-person site visits.
  • Lead the design, implementation, outcome evaluation, and dissemination of findings of the interprofessional team project.
  • Actively participate in the Fellow's monthly learning activities via conference call, small group activities, etc. 
  • Use the Scope of Influence Portfolio to record accomplishments, promotions, and appointments.
  • Design a professional dissemination plan for publishing and presentations.
  • Present a professional poster at the Sigma Biennial Convention.
  • Attend the GNLA special session and celebration activities at the Sigma Biennial Convention. 

Presented in Partnership with Hill-Rom.

Hill Rom

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Contact the International Leadership Institute at leadership@sigmanursing.org.

Complete the ILI Academies Interest Form.