For the third year since its inception, the North Carolina Nurses Association’s (NCNA) Leadership Academy has accepted a Charlotte AHEC nurse to participate in their program. Kathryn Fitzpatrick, MSN, APRN, RN, participated in the 2015 Leadership Academy cohort, which graduated at the annual NCNA Convention in October 2015. Other Charlotte AHEC nurses who have completed the program include May Cheung, MSN, RN-BC, director of nursing education, quality institute and health careers, who was part of the first cohort in 2012, and Laura Magennis, MSN, RNC-OB, who completed the program in 2014.

Since its first inaugural class in 2012, the NCNA Leadership Academy has served as a year-long leadership development program for nurses from across the state.

“NCNA’s leadership academy is housed within NCNA’s charitable arm, the North Carolina Foundation for Nursing, and a high-intensity, competitive application leadership development program for nurses to prepare them for positions of strategy and influence, especially as they relate to changes recommended in the national Institute of Medicine’s Future of Nursing report. The program places a premium on educating, mentoring and grooming nurses to serve as active leaders in a variety of positions (i.e. state and local government boards/commissions, elected office, hospital boards/leadership, community boards, etc.).”www.ncnurses.org

NCNA identifies emerging nurse leaders from across the state, encourages them with motivational activities and mentoring, and assists in sharpening their leadership skills, so that they can use a strong positive influence on the future of nursing and health care.

The lessons learned from their time in the NCNA Leadership Academy have been valuable to the Charlotte AHEC nurses. Since the role of an AHEC nurse includes promoting and supporting nurses in all aspects of health care, it is essential that AHEC nurses are strong leaders.

“I was honored to be a part of the 2014 NCNA Leadership Academy. All of the activities, from ‘Leadership of Self’ to ‘Bridging Boundaries’, were extremely helpful to my personal leadership journey. Through this wonderful opportunity, I have been able to widen my perspective of the role of nurses as leaders in the state and the nation, and can truly envision the ‘Nursing Forward’ theme of NCNA.” – Laura Magennis, 2014 Leadership Academy graduate

“I felt honored to be selected as the 2012 NCNA Leadership Academy candidate. I strongly encourage everyone who has a desire to make a difference in nursing, to apply for the NCNA Leadership Academy. This is a high quality leadership development program which helps prepare you to be an effective and influential nurse leader.” – May Cheung, 2012 Leadership Academy graduate

Editor’s Note: In addition to these three Charlotte AHEC nurses, Greensboro AHEC’s Christopher Golding, MSN, RN, has also graduated from the Leadership Academy.