Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellows

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellows program is a three-year advanced leadership program for nurses who aspire to lead and shape health care locally and nationally. Fellows strengthen and improve their leadership abilities and learn to apply them to improving health and health care.

Each year the RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows program selects a cohort of up to 20 highly qualified nurses in senior executive positions to participate in a three-year fellowship. Major components of the leadership development program include:

  • Advanced curriculum, employing best practices from the field of leadership development, delivered through face-to-face program sessions and technology-facilitated intersession activities (Years 1–3);
  • Intensive and ongoing executive coaching from Center for Creative Leadership executive coaches (Years 1–3);
  • Team-based action learning and implementation of team projects (Years 1–2);
  • Self-directed, individual leadership development activities and implementation of a bold individual leadership project (Years 2–3);
  • Opportunity for post-program leadership development activities; and
  • Membership in the nationwide Executive Nurse Fellows and RWJF networks.

While the program allows fellows to remain at their home institutions, program activities will require a substantial time commitment over the course of the three-year fellowship. The time commitment for the program varies by month and year, but fellows should expect to attend two three-day sessions each year during Years 1 and 2, and three in Year 1, including one five-day session. Fellows will also participate in face-to-face Action Learning Team meetings, calls, and interactions. Fellows will spend an average of four to six hours each week engaged in all program-related activities. The program returns value to employing organizations by enhancing fellows’ leadership skills and effectiveness in meeting organizational and societal health care goals.



Beginning in 2014, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) will develop new programs that strive to increase the number of scholars/fellows/leaders we support annually. As part of this transition, we will wind down and conclude ten Human Capital programs, including Executive Nurse Fellows

For More Information

Read about the Foundation’s new directions for leadership programs on