What is unique about the RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows (ENF) program?

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellows Program is an advanced, three year leadership program for senior-level nurses who aspire to lead and shape U.S. healthcare locally and nationally. The program is designed to help accomplished nursing leaders be even more effective at leading teams and organizations. The curriculum provides a mix of didactic and experiential learning, mentoring, coaching, and the application of leadership knowledge and skills in real-world projects. The opportunity to interact closely with 19 other top nurse leaders in a cohort (and several hundred in the alumni association) is an important feature of the program.

Who is eligible for the program?

Executive Nurse Fellowships are open to nurses who currently hold senior leadership positions in health services, scientific and academic organizations, public health and community-based organizations or systems, and national professional, governmental, and policy organizations. Applicants must be citizens of the United States or its territories or have permanent residency status at the time of application. Applicants must have the support of their employing organization for participating in the full three years of the program.

Do you need to be a nurse to apply?

Yes.  Applicants must be a registered nurse with an active nursing license.

Are nurse practitioners eligible?

Yes.  This program is open to all nurses in senior leadership positions.  

Where is the program located?

Direction and technical assistance for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellows program are provided by the Center for Creative Leadership (www.ccl.org) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing.

How many Fellows will be selected each year?

Up to 20 fellowships will be awarded per year. Fellowship resources include funds to support a variety of leadership development experiences.

When are the applications due?

The current Call for Applications is now available. Applications are due January 18, 2011.

What are the benefits of being an RWJF Executive Nurse Fellow?

A key benefit is the opportunity to participate in a high-level leadership development program designed specifically for nurses in executive leadership positions, with learning activities tailored to each Fellow's unique professional development needs and goals. Additionally, ENF alumni are recognized and respected as leaders within their organizations. For example, based on a survey of alumni conducted in 2006-07, 42% of ENF alumni occupy the top leadership position in their organizations and another 30% report directly to the individual holding the top position. One employer noted: “The ENF program is creating a cadre of nursing leaders who think differently, act differently, collaborate differently and negotiate differently. This will help to change the course of nursing and health care in this country.”

What is expected of the each Fellow?

Make a three-year commitment to the program
Have the active support of their employing organization
Engage fully in all curricular, action learning, and leadership project components of the program
Engage in a mentor experience
Complete project reports, narratives and financial status reports as requested and in a timely manner
Communicate job title/employment status changes to the National Program Office in a timely manner

Can I keep my full-time job and still participate in the program at the same time?

Yes. The three-year fellowship program is designed for Fellows to remain in their current positions. The time commitment for the program varies by month and year but Fellows should expect to attend two three-day seminars each year (three in Year 1) and spend an average 4-6 hours each week engaged in other program-related activities (e.g., phone calls, Webinars, reading, participating in professional development activities, etc.). The program returns value to employing organizations by enhancing Fellows’ leadership skills and effectiveness in meeting organizational and societal health care goals.

What is the length of the fellowship?

The Fellowship is a three-year program.

Do I have to pay for my own travel expenses to attend program meetings?

The program office will pay for all travel and accommodation expenses incurred by Fellows to attend program seminars and meetings.

What happens if I change employers or lose my job during the course of the program?

If you intend to make a job change during the course of the program, to the extent possible, please discuss your participation in the program with your new employer to ensure their support of your participation in the program. If a Fellow becomes unemployed during the program, the national program office will work with the Fellow to ensure continuity of the leadership program. Losing one's job is not necessarily cause for dismissal from the program; however your fellowship must have an institutional sponsor.