Nurse Leadership Institute

Maryland needs nurses who will lead changes to enhance health outcomes for its residents.

Nurse Leadership Institute

The NLI is designed to:

  • build leadership capacity within Maryland nursing faculty and clinicians
  • facilitate partnerships between faculty and clinicians for developing strategies that shape effective health care systems
  • prepare a nursing workforce to assume roles within these evolving systems.

The Nurse Leadership Institute (NLI) is a yearlong leadership development program that prepares nurses to assume leadership positions. NLI nurses aim to become full partners in developing health care delivery models that improve health outcomes for Maryland residents. Nurses selected for this program demonstrate the leadership potential needed for this challenge.

As an NLI Fellow, you will:

  • become members of an NLI cohort
  • develop your personal strengths, identify and strengthen your leadership competencies, and create an individualized plan for continued leadership development
  • hear from national health care leaders and NLI alumni
  • take part in psychometric self-assessments with professional coaching
  • complete on a leadership collaboration activity that translates your skills into action
  • earn Continuing Nursing Education (CNE) contact hours.

The program includes:

  • yearlong, one-on-one mentorship with a mentor you select
  • monthly virtual leadership meetings covering a variety of leadership topics
  • three in-person sessions, including a two-day intensive leadership training

Each year, the program offers grant-funded support for up to 50 Maryland nurses.

The program is funded by Maryland Higher Education Commission through the Nurse Support II program. This funding allows us to offer the NLI program to selected fellows at no cost to them.

Applications are welcomed from eligible nurses employed in Maryland within either:

  • academia
  • a health care system
  • a public health/community health organization

Program Overview

The NLI is a competitive, yearlong multi-pronged leadership program for both nascent and seasoned nurse leaders in academia and practice.

NLI Fellows are seen as the future leaders who will collaborate on and coordinate efforts to improve health care delivery in Maryland. Nurses selected for this program must have demonstrated the leadership potential to meet rising health care and academic changes and challenges.

The program curriculum is designed with Maryland nurse leader input and aligns with many of the American Organization of Nurse Leaders (AONL) competencies. The program builds skills in nine categories:

  1. leadership
  2. effective communication
  3. relationship and team management
  4. shared governance
  5. finance
  6. health economics and policy
  7. community engagement
  8. crisis and risk management
  9. diversity and inclusion. 

Selected candidates, their mentors, and organizations must commit to full participation over the one year period. Developing Maryland Nurse Leadership Capacity and Launching Leaders

Our Origins

NSP: Nurse Support Program II logo

In July 2015, the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission approved and awarded $2.5 in Nurse Support Program II (NSP-II) funding for the Nurse Leadership Institute at the University of Maryland School of Nursing to Patricia Franklin. This five-year, statewide initiative was designed to build Maryland’s nursing leadership capacity.

Read: "Building Maryland's health care leadership capacity: The Nurse Leadership Institute at the University of Maryland School of Nursing," published in Nursing Outlook, Sept.-Oct. 2020.

A previous Maryland NSP II grant, awarded to the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, supported a two-year leadership consortium among five Maryland schools of nursing. Building on the success of that project, this grant-funded program administered through the Commission expands the size, scope, and funding of the original grant.

In 2020, a second, $1.7 million five-year grant was awarded to Yolanda Ogbolu to continue building the next generation of nurse leaders. From 2020 - 2025, the NLI will provide training for 200 practice and academic leaders and their mentors.

To date, 173 nurse leaders and an additional 167 nurse mentors have completed the NLI program.

Our Goal

The NLI’s ultimate goal is to develop nurse leaders that are well prepared to improve the health of Maryland's population. Coordinated and collaborative practice is essential to the development of effective health delivery systems in the state. The program provides nurses with the leadership expertise needed to actively address the changing landscape of health care and academia.

“The NLI provided a platform to connect with colleagues and nursing professionals from different backgrounds and health settings by forging valued relationships that will last beyond the yearlong experience. The robust curriculum centered on utilization of strategy, self-reflection, and used feedback from my current workplace to aide in my personal growth and development in leadership.” Michael Hamburg, MSN, RN, CEN
"I was looking to gain leadership skills that I could apply to my work in a public health setting ... The program was very valuable to me to gain insight into how others perceive my effectiveness as a leader and what steps I can take to improve my leadership skills." Taina Metsa-Mahka, MBA, BSN
“Participating in the NLI gave me the confidence to accept the role as chair of the Transition to Nurse Residency taskforce under the Maryland Organization of Nurse Leaders’ Maryland Nurse Residency Collaborative. ... Leading this taskforce allows me the opportunity to collaborate with academic partners and practitioners across the state of Maryland, to support the future nursing workforce, and to ensure these new nurses are equipped to provide care for Maryland residents.” Eursula L. David-Sherman, MSN, BSN ’92, RN, NPD-BC
“In a fragmented health care system facing more challenges than ever, reducing duplication and quickly disseminating information is crucial to delivering world-class care to all. When academic and practicing professionals come together to share ideas, collaborate on projects, and move their organizations forward together with a unified vision, it is a win for all Marylanders.” Tracey Long, MSN, MPH, RN-BC, CPH
“My experience in the NLI strengthened my self-awareness of my leadership style and enhanced my ability to support our front-line nursing teams to lead through this crisis, as they established two COVID-19 care units and worked cross-functionally to meet the needs of our patients, our colleagues, and our community during this evolving crisis.” Brian A. Burke, MBA, MS ’11, BSN ’07, RN
“The NLI helped prepare me for a new role as a public health official for the Universities at Shady Grove. Through the program, I refined my communication, conflict management, and negotiation skills. I also set a goal to achieve the Public Health Foundation’s core competency to influence policies, programs, and services. In my new role, I’m writing policies and procedures for COVID-19 education, screening, and testing so that the location can safely reopen once pandemic conditions allow.” Karin Russ, MS ’09, BSN ’89, RN
“The NLI helped me develop skills to listen carefully and find creative solutions that meet the needs of Maryland residents in my position as a nurse practitioner in Takoma Park, where I deliver primary care to an underserved immigrant patient population through the Governor’s Wellmobile. I have practiced and grown into my own authentic leadership style that has served me well in developing relationships within this community.”   Veronica Gutchell, DNP ’13, RN, CNS, CRNP