NEW YORK NURSE: December 2008
by Nancy Webber
In 1991, the New York State Nurses Association launched a Leadership Fellows Program, which was designed to foster the development of basic leadership skills for NYSNA members who were interested in taking leadership roles in the association.
For more than a decade, the Leadership Fellows Program prepared members to assume positions of influence within their professional association. Many of the graduates have served on the NYSNA Board of Directors, the ANA House of Delegates, executive committees of the 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. This new program, the Leadership Academy, has three distinct levels of participation and has been carefully designed to assist all members in their personal and professional growth.
All NYSNA members are encouraged to enroll in Tier 1, which consists of self-study mini-courses. These basic study modules are not approved for nursing continuing education contact hours, but members must complete them to be eligible to apply for Tier 2 (the Leadership Fellows Program).
Three mini-courses are now online at www.nysna.org and cover basic topics such as “About NYSNA,” “Lobbying for Nurses,” and “The Collective Bargaining Process.” The courses are free, but you must register and share your e-mail address so NYSNA staff can communicate with you. Participants must complete an online examination at the end of each module.
Once you’ve completed the basic studies, you’ll be ready to apply to the Leadership Fellows Program.
The Leadership Fellows Program is an intensive, year-long learning experience involving on-site lectures, online learning, webcasts, and independent study. Fellows have the opportunity to attend lobbying events in Albany, Convention, and other meetings that will give them in-depth knowledge about the Nurses Association. They will be expected to complete a project during the course of the year.
“A key factor in the program will be the assignment of a mentor to each participant,” said Renée Gecsedi, director of NYSNA’s Education, Practice & Research (EPR) Program. “Through the mentor relationship, Fellows will be able to ‘make real’ the information they receive during the class sessions.”
Topics to be covered include:
Participants may choose from four tracks, depending on their area of greatest interest: General, Labor Relations, Legislative & Political, and Peer Assistance.
Applicants for Tier 3 must have successfully completed the Leadership Fellows Program, although this requirement may be waived with submission of a portfolio that includes descriptions of past leadership experiences.
Graduates will receive one-on-one guidance from assigned mentors and NYSNA staff as they seek to assume leadership roles. The graduate program will be tailored to the participants’ individual needs. It is expected that academy graduates will serve as mentors for future Fellows.
There is no charge to members to participate in the Leadership Fellows Program, but they must be appointed by the NYSNA Board of Directors. Appointments are made in the late spring for the program year starting in September. Applications may be submitted at any time and are available online at www.nysna.org or from the EPR Program at 800-724-NYRN(6976), ext. 282.