1. What if I haven’t been a formal leader in my organization? Should I still apply?
Yes. The most effective leaders in an organization are not always the “formal” leaders. Informal leaders who influence others because of their leadership capabilities are very important. Many more formal and informal nurse leaders are needed in local, national, and international settings to advance the healthcare interests and benefits of patients.
2. Where can I get an idea for a project?
Project ideas can come from colleagues, students, administrators, and people in your community.
- Listen for “What if…”, “Why can’t we…”, “I wish you would…”, and “Why don’t you…” conversation starters
- Professional journals
- United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
- Professional specialty organizations
- Local, national, and global events
- Current institutional improvement concerns or needs that are suitable for your project and personal leadership development
3. I have an idea for a project but do not know if it will work and/or be supported by my institution. What should I do?
Talk to your supervisor and colleagues to see if they view the situation/need as you do. Once these individuals support your idea, ask them to advocate for you and arrange conversations with policy leaders of your institution. A flexible approach is important. Often, it becomes necessary to modify a project after the academy begins.
4. How should I select a mentor?
The mentor should be someone who can provide guidance and feedback in a manner that allows the scholar to grow in his or her leadership capacity. Scholars should select an individual not currently employed at their institution. A senior leader, your Sigma chapter, or individuals from professional organizations could recommend a leadership mentor. If you are a Sigma member, you can visit the Career Mentoring and Coaching Program to complete a search for a mentor. Enroll in the program here.
5. Should I interview mentor candidates?
If the scholar does not have a prior relationship with a mentor, it might be helpful to interview several possible candidates to determine whether there is a good fit between the mentor’s style and the scholars needs.
6. What should I look for in a mentor?
The mentor should be someone who can provide the scholar with guidance and feedback in a manner that allows them to grow in his or her leadership development.
7. Does my mentor have to be a nurse?
No. The academy encourages the scholars to develop interprofessional relationships. A mentor from another discipline can provide valuable opportunities for the scholar to develop collaborative relationships with other professionals involved in health and healthcare.
8. Should I work with my mentor on my application and project summary?
The academy encourages scholars to work collaboratively with their mentors on both the application and the project summary.
9. Should I work with my direct supervisor in the development of my application and project summary?
Yes. By involving a direct supervisor in the development of the application and project summary, they will gain an awareness of the time and support required for successful participation in the academy. This understanding and support must be reflected in the institutional letter of endorsement from the scholar’s agency/organization/institution (A/O/I).
10. I am interested in becoming a Sigma member. How do I apply?
Nursing professionals not previously inducted as nursing students can join Sigma as nurse leaders. Learn more.
Tuition for the academy may be refunded until 30 days prior to the start of the leadership academy and will be subject to withholding of the ILD/KP Assessment fee and a US $150 processing fee. Refunds are processed by the method in which they were paid.
- As of 30 days prior to the start of the program, no refunds will be granted.
- Participants who fail to complete the assignments and expectations of the leadership academy will be considered to have voluntarily withdrawn. No refund will be granted, and participants will only be eligible for continuing nursing education for webinars attended.