NEW YORK NURSE: January-February 2011
by Erin Silk
For more than a decade, the Leadership Academy Fellows Program has prepared NYSNA members to assume positions of influence within their professional association. Viewed as the “passageway into distinction of nursing leadership,” many graduates of the program have served on the NYSNA Board of Directors, the ANA House of Delegates, executive committees of local bargaining units, the Delegate Assembly, council offices, and district nurses associations’ boards and committees.
In 2007, the NYSNA Board of Directors decided to expand the Leadership Fellows Program to include members at all levels of leadership experience. “The Leadership Academy,” was created with three distinct tiers of participation, designed to assist all members in their personal and professional growth.
While Leadership Academy participants must be appointed by the board of directors, the program’s Tier 1 “Basic Studies” learning modules are available to all members as a benefit of membership.
All members may choose from five modules:
“These modules provide a mini-study and overview of NYSNA, and can help orient new association members, or encourage members who may be considering leadership roles, but are not yet ready to commit to applying to Leadership Academy” said Renée Gecsedi, director of Education, Practice and Research at NYSNA.
To graduate from the Leadership Academy, participants must successfully complete two tiers of the program: “Basic Studies,” and “Leadership Fellows.” As they work through these two tiers they concentrate in one of three tracks: General, Labor Relations, or Legislative & Political. Fellows have the opportunity to attend Lobby Day, Convention, and other meetings and trainings that will give them in-depth knowledge about NYSNA. Fellows are expected to complete a project during the course of the year.
Tier III, the “Graduate Program,” is an intensive, year-long learning experience including on-site lectures and webinars in advanced leadership areas such as strategic planning, how to get professional work published, and grant writing. Participants will have the choice to complete a project, build further upon their Tier II project, or mentor a Tier II Fellow during the course of the year. Tier III participants will most often be graduates of Tiers I and II.
Participants may again choose from three tracks: General, Labor Relations and Legislative & Political. This component of the Leadership Academy also includes attendance at meetings, trainings and events that will further enhance and develop their leadership skills.
A key factor in the success of the Leadership Academy program is its mentoring component. Leadership Fellows are assigned a mentor throughout their studies to guide them as they assume a leadership role. Academy graduates may be asked to mentor future Fellows.
“The Leadership Academy is an excellent opportunity to increase and enhance the leadership skills already ingrained in the professional nurse,” Gecsedi said. “Today’s members are tomorrow’s leaders of NYSNA, and this program helps prepare nurses to assume those leadership roles.”