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Maternal-Child Health Nurse
Leadership Academy (MCH NLA)

Academy Details

MCHNLA Purpose
The purpose of the Maternal-Child Health Nurse Leadership Academy is to develop the leadership skills of maternal-child health nurses and nurse midwives in positions of influence in a variety of health care settings. The academy prepares maternal-child health nurses and nurse midwives to effectively lead interdisciplinary teams to improve the quality of healthcare for childbearing women and children up to 5 years old.

MCHNLA Learning Objectives
The academy experience includes opportunities for participants to work with a mentor and an interdisciplinary team from maternal-child practice setting or community to develop a project centered on improving maternal-child health and nursing practice. Academy graduates will build leadership knowledge skills and abilities to:

  • Improve maternal-child health outcomes through leadership competencies and evidence-based practice
  • Introduce improvements in health systems or models of care  
  • Create and effectively lead an interdisciplinary team to improve maternal-child health practice outcomes
  • Contribute to the field through project evaluation, communication and dissemination of results


Faculty & Participants

Academy Details

Academy Overview

Application Information

Academy Participation Community

Contact the International Leadership Institute at


Important Dates
What are the dates for the 2012-2013 MCHNLA?

April 2012 Acceptance notification
10-14 June 2012 Workshop I -- Indianapolis, Ind., USA 
15 September - 15 October 2012 Faculty advisor site visits I
4-8 February 2013 Workshop II -- Location TBD
15 June - 15 September 2013 Faculty advisor site visits II 
16-20 November 2013 STTI Biennial Convention -- Indianapolis, Ind., USA


MCH NLA Structure and Format

The Maternal-Child Health Nurse Leadership Academy — developed and facilitated by experts in maternal-child health and organizational development — is an 18-month, mentored leadership development experience. Multi-level learning is achieved through content in:
  • Leadership self-assessment and development
  • Interdisciplinary team development, project development, management and evaluation
  • Dissemination of project outcomes and lessons learned

The leadership skills component of the academy is based on the research and teachings of Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner, as described in “The Leadership Challenge®.” Their model (KP Model) proposes that leadership is a measurable, learnable, and teachable set of behaviors. The academy believes that these behaviors are most effectively learned by applying them in a realistic setting. The academy is designed to operationalize these learned behaviors by assisting and supporting the mentee in developing and implementing a project.


Participant Triads

Each mentee selects an expert mentor who participates in the academy workshops and guides the mentee through the leadership development journey. The mentee and mentor are paired with an expert faculty advisor who acts as a facilitator during the mentee’s leadership journey. This triad — mentee, mentor and faculty advisor — forms the basic functional unit of the academy that works collaboratively to complete the mentee’s leadership development goals.

The mentee develops a project that is focused on improving maternal-child health outcomes and maternal-child nursing practice. As part of the project development, the mentee forms an interdisciplinary team in his or her practice setting or community to address a maternal-child health issue.


A mentor from the same setting/community supports the mentee. The mentor is an individual who is:

  • Not the mentee’s direct supervisor
  • Familiar with the mentee’s practice setting
  • Agrees to champion, advise and advocate for the mentee
  • Demonstrates the leadership characteristics required of a mentor


Faculty Advisor
An academy faculty advisor is assigned to each mentee/mentor pair and assists with personal leadership development; team development; and project planning, implementation and evaluation. A team of faculty advisors develop and present the academy curriculum. A faculty advisor:

  • Serves as a member of the academy faculty
  • Participates in the academy’s online application review and selection process as a reviewer
  • Participates in curriculum development, presentation and evaluation; advising and mentoring
  • Serves as an advisor to two assigned mentee/mentor pairs throughout the academy, providing them with the strategies and coaching required for successful leadership, team and project management
  • Works with other MCHNLA faculty advisors, STTI and Johnson & Johnson staff to achieve program goals and objectives

Academy Information

MCHNLA Project
The ultimate goal of the MCHNLA is improved health for mothers and babies (up to 5 years old). This goal is achieved:

  • Directly from the projects completed during the academy (which creates system change)
  • Indirectly from ongoing nurse leadership throughout the nurse’s career.

Since leadership behaviors are learned and “we learn to do by doing” (Aristotle), an ideal way for nurses to learn leadership is by creating, managing and implementing a health care project. The project becomes the “vehicle” for this portion of the leadership journey. The interdisciplinary team members become traveling companions.


Is there an ideal location for a project?
No. Any place that mothers and children up to age 5 have health care needs is a good place for a project. And, any venue where individuals make policies, rules and regulations that affect that same population is also a good place for a project.

Possible project settings:

  • Acute care
  • Chronic care
  • Child day care (up to age 5)
  • Community care
  • Outpatient care
  • Managed care system
  • Private/public health care provider office
  • Planned Parenthood clinics
  • Public policy/health care policy
  • Schools (for children up to age 5)

Ideas for projects:

  • Project ideas can come from patients, families, health care professional colleagues, managers and people in your community.
  • Listen for “What if…”, “Why can’t we…”, “I wish you would…”, and “Why don’t you…” conversation starters.
  • Read professional journals.
  • Be connected with professional specialty organizations.
  • Be tuned in to current events.
  • Be aware of current practice improvement efforts that could be adapted to your situation.

The MCHNLA project will be evaluated on the following points:

  • Potential to foster the mentee's leadership development
  • Potential to improve health care of women and children up to 5 years old
  • Potential for the project's sustainable positive impact upon the health care organization/system
  • Potential for project’s completion in 18-month time frame

Click here for MCHNLA prior projects and outcomes.


Mentee Eligibility Criteria
The academy seeks applications from outstanding maternal-child health nurses and nurse midwives who are poised to be effective health care change leaders in their place of employment. The academy is open to those whose practice (service, administration, education or research) consists of the health of mothers and children, including maternal care, pre- and postpartum care, neonatology and/or the care of children from birth to 5 years old. This includes, but is not limited to, clinicians, researchers, faculty, maternal-child health nurses and nurse midwives working in professional organizations and health policy. Applicants need not be a member of STTI to apply. Maternal-child health nurses and nurse midwives from all countries are encouraged to apply.

In order to be eligible for the MCH Nurse Leadership Academy, applicants must:

  • Demonstrate knowledge, competence and work experience in maternal-child health nursing
  • Demonstrate a desire to exert a profound impact in the quality of care and health outcomes for childbearing women and children up to 5 years old
  • Possess the potential to achieve higher levels of leadership in their health care institutions
  • Possess a baccalaureate or higher degree in nursing or an equivalent nursing degree
  • Have strong skills in written and spoken English

Mentor Eligibility Criteria
Applicants must select an experienced individual who is not a direct supervisor andwho demonstrates the following characteristics:

  • Has extensive leadership experience
  • Possesses mentorship knowledge and expertise to guide and support the mentee’s leadership journey
  • Demonstrates success as a mentor as evidenced by the accomplishments of prior mentees
  • Is able to create new networking opportunities and assist with navigating organization structure and culture
  • Is able to listen and provide feedback to assist throughout the mentee’s leadership journey
  • Is able to attend and participate in all MCH Nurse Leadership Academy workshops, site visits and STTI’s biennial convention
  • Mentors need not be a member of STTI

Anticipated Fees

The academy seeks applications from maternal-child health nurses and nurse midwives who, along with their employing institutions, are willing to make an 18-month commitment to MCH Nurse Leadership Academy. It is the philosophy of the MCH Nurse Leadership Academy that this program is a partnership between Johnson & Johnson, STTI and the employing institutions of the mentee and mentor.

Johnson & Johnson provides generous support to assist the mentees and mentors with the expenses associated with participation in the academy. The following costs for the mentees and mentors are covered by this support:

  • Lodging for Workshop I, Workshop II and STTI's biennial convention
  • Most meals associated with Workshops I and II
  • Faculty expenses associated with the site visits
  • Two-day registration for STTI's biennial convention

The following expenses are the responsibility of the mentee and/or mentor:

  • Registration fee for the mentee and mentor pair: $625
  • Mentee and mentor travel to Workshop I: 11-15 June 2012 in Indianapolis, Ind., USA
  • Mentee and mentor travel to Workshop II: 4-8 February 2013, location TBD
  • Mentee and mentor travel and meals to academy celebrations at STTI’s biennial convention: 16-20 November 2013, Indianapolis, Ind., USA
  • Additional activities associated with the mentee’s individualized leadership plan and project

Recommended sources for financial assistance include: employers, civic organizations, hospital auxiliaries, government agencies, community and professional foundations, professional organizations and STTI chapters.

The mentee and mentor are strongly encouraged to seek a shared financial commitment from their employing agency/organization/institution as part of their participation in the academy.

Continuing Nursing Education Contact Hours
Continuing nursing education credits will be earned upon completion of the 18-month academy. STTI is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.  

To receive continuing nursing education contact hours, mentees will:

  1. Complete pre-assignments prior to workshops
  2. Attend workshops
  3. Design and implement project
  4. Arrange and facilitate site visits
  5. Submit site visit reports in a timely manner
  6. Submit abstract for presentation at STTI’s biennial convention
  7. Present at STTI’s biennial convention
  8. Submit final report/evaluation

To receive continuing nursing education contact hours, mentors will:

  1. Complete pre-assignments prior to workshops
  2. Attend workshops
  3. Assist mentee with design and implementation of project
  4. Assist with planning and participate in site visits
  5. Assist with submission of site visit reports in a timely manner
  6. Assist with submission of abstract for presentation at STTI’s biennial convention
  7. Attend STTI’s biennial convention
  8. Assist with creation and submission of final report/evaluation

Presented in Partnership with Johnson & Johnson Corporate Contributions.

Johnson & Johnson





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