Application Process

The academy is open to those whose practice includes nursing service, administration, education, or research concentrating on the health of mothers and children.  

Fellow Criteria

Fellow applications will be evaluated based on the Maternal-Child Health Nurse Leadership Academy (MCHNLA) application, leadership project, letter of support from A/O/I, and the following characteristics:

  • Demonstrate knowledge, competence, and work experience in maternal-child health nursing
  • Demonstrate a desire to exert a profound impact in the quality of care and health outcomes for underserved, childbearing women and children up to 5 years old
  • Possess the potential to achieve higher levels of leadership in their healthcare institutions
  • Possess a baccalaureate or higher degree in nursing or an equivalent nursing degree
  • Have strong skills in written and spoken English 

Leadership Mentor Criteria

Fellow applicants must select an experienced individual who is not a direct supervisor, has a letter of support from their A/O/I, and who demonstrates the following characteristics:

  • Exhibits extensive leadership experience
  • Possesses mentorship knowledge and expertise to guide and support the Fellow’s leadership journey
  • Demonstrates success as a mentor as evidenced by the accomplishments of prior mentees
  • Ability to facilitate new networking opportunities and assist with navigating organization structure and culture
  • Is able to listen and provide feedback to assist throughout the Fellow’s leadership journey

NOTE: Sigma has resource available to assist the Fellow in selecting a Leadership Mentor. Please contact Margie Brown at for help locating a Leadership Mentor.​

Leadership Project Criteria

The ultimate goal of the MCHNLA is improved health for underserved, childbearing women and children up to 5 years old by having a profound impact on the quality of care and health outcomes. This goal is achieved directly from the projects completed during the academy (which creates system change), and indirectly from ongoing nurse leadership throughout the nurse’s career. Fellow leadership projects will be evaluated based on the following characteristics:

  • Potential to foster the Fellow's leadership development
  • Potential to improve healthcare of underserved, childbearing women and children up to 5 years old
  • Potential for the project's sustainable positive impact upon the healthcare organization/system
  • Potential for project’s completion and measurable outcomes in 18-month time frame

Letter of Support from A/O/I Criteria

The Fellow and Leadership Mentor each require a letter of support from their A/O/I. Fellow and Leadership Mentors letters of support from A/O/I will be evaluated based on the following characteristics:   

  • Recommendation for Fellow and Leadership Mentor participation in the MCHNLA
  • Support for the attainment of the identified leadership project goals (time, resources, etc.)
  • Financial commitment 

If your support is coming from multiple sources, a letter from each A/O/I should be written identifying the form of support they will provide. For example, if your place of employment will be providing the time off, but your nursing association will be providing the financial resources, please submit a letter from both organizations.

Sigma membership is not a requirement for participation in the academy as a Leadership Mentor or Fellow.

Presented in partnership with

Johnson & Johnson Foundation 

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