Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

What is the purpose of the Duke-Johnson & Johnson Nurse Leadership Program?

Created in partnership with Johnson & Johnson and Duke University Schools of Medicine and Nursing, the purpose of Duke-Johnson & Johnson Nurse Leadership Program is to provide advanced practice nurses (APN)/experienced registered nurses (RN) and their health care team members with individual and team-based leadership and management skills to effectively and efficiently deliver integrated/comprehensive services to diverse populations. APNs prepared to lead clinical units, services or practices, in collaboration with their interprofessional health care team members, can contribute significantly to increasing access to care, particularly to vulnerable populations for whom quality health care is limited.

What is meant by “Integrated/Comprehensive Care”?

“Integrated/comprehensive care” is the concept of bringing together the organization, delivery and management of services related to diagnosis, treatment, care, rehabilitation and health promotion in a way that provides continuity for and partnership with patients, families and communities.

What is meant by “vulnerable populations”?

“Vulnerable populations”, with respect to health, are groups of people who experience, or are likely to experience, health or social conditions that place them at a disadvantage for optimal health and well-being. The vulnerability of these individuals can be related to race, ethnicity, culture, age, gender, or sexual orientation, as well as factors such as occupation, income, health insurance coverage, and absence of a usual source of care. Their health and healthcare issues may also intersect with social factors, such as education, occupation, geography, housing, and poverty.

Who is the intended participant in this program?

The Duke-Johnson & Johnson Nurse Leadership Program is designed to support APNs (specifically Nurse Practitioners, Certified Nurse Midwives and Clinical Nurse Specialists), as well as experienced RNs and their team members who plan to collaborate on a health improvement project that aims to provide more effective continuity of care services for vulnerable populations facing health disparities. Ideal candidates for this program are APNs/experienced RNs and their colleagues, aiming to implement a health improvement initiative, who wish to acquire or improve individual and team-based leadership and management skills and knowledge required to be successful change agents in the health care environment.

How many program fellows will be accepted into the program?

Up to 35 teams will be selected to participate in the program. Teams each consist of 2-3 fellows, with a maximum of 75 program fellows participating for the program year.

What will program fellows learn in this program help them in a clinical role or administrative role?

The Duke-Johnson & Johnson Nurse Leadership Program content is designed specifically for teams, led by APNs (specifically NP, CNM and CNS) or experienced RNs, who wish to create transformational change within their organizations. The program seeks to enhance the skill level of APNs/experienced RNs and their team members who wish to learn more about the management and operational aspects of leading clinical units, services or practices to improved performance and outcomes

What are the roles of team members?

Team leads are APNs or experienced RNs who are responsible for participating in required program activities and spearheading the development and execution of the team’s proposed health improvement project. One to two other team partners (who may be but are not necessarily nurses) participate in specific program activities and support the team lead in designing and executing the transformational project process.

Can team members change during the program year?

Changes in team members will be considered on a case-by-case basis. We realize that unexpected team transitions may take place during the program year (e.g., illness, job change, moving out of the area) so we strongly recommend that each team member consider, in advance, an alternate colleague in the organization who would be a good candidate to step in into the role, if needed, of a departing team member for the transformational project and to participate in the remaining program activities.

Do team members need to be employed by the same organization?

Team members should work be able to work on a health improvement project together, but they do not necessarily need to be employed by the same employer.

What does seeking “institutional/organizational approval” for my project mean?

Your partnering organization must approve your team’s proposed transformational health improvement project before you start implementing planned activities. Your team should present your project proposal to seek approval from your local Institutional Review Board, Quality Improvement committee, or other appropriate organizational leadership entity which has oversight of such initiatives. Please share with the Program office written confirmation of your project approval once you have received it.

What will participants attain upon completion of the program?

Upon program completion, participants typically report improved leadership and management skills, an expanded professional network, and improved practices within their organization. These changes are fostered by our innovative learning experience, mentorship from exemplary health care leaders and national experts, personalized leadership coaching, hands-on fellowship project, and national network of program alumni and partners.

Fellows who successfully complete the program will be acknowledged as Duke-Johnson & Johnson Nurse Leadership Program Alumni and also awarded a plaque to honor this accomplishment. In addition, joint accreditation education contact hours will be awarded for many of the seminars and workshops provided in the onsite leadership retreat and distance-based education portions of the program.

Will program fellows receive a transcript of participation upon completion of the program?

This program, though affiliated with the Duke Schools of Medicine and Nursing, does not formally enroll participants with the University Registrar. For that reason, university transcripts are not generated for activities completed during the program.

If I have other questions about the program, whom should I contact?

You may contact Jan Willis, Training Coordinator, by telephone at 919.681.7007, or email at

Admissions and Deadlines

When are applications due, and when will I be notified whether or not my team is accepted?

Applications are due Friday, June 12, 2020, and your team will be notified no later than Monday, July 13, 2020 whether or not it been selected for program participation. Please note that applications will be reviewed and acceptance decisions may be made on a rolling basis, so we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible.

When are the informational webinars about the program?

Information webinars will be hosted on March 10 and April 16, 2020. More details can be found in News and Events.

Who is eligible to apply for Team Lead?

  • is able to attend, in-person, the two core leadership onsite retreats in Durham, NC on October 22-25, 2020 and May 21-23, 2021 and two web-conferences on September 12-13, 2020 and February 20-21, 2021
  • has graduate degree in nursing OR has 5 or more years of experience as an RN
  • is credentialed/certified as a nurse practitioner, certified nurse midwife or clinical nurse specialist or registered nurse
  • is currently practicing in the United States or its territories
  • has experience providing *integrated/comprehensive care for vulnerable patient populations
  • has two or more years of experience:
    1. developing a nurse-managed practice, service or unit, (can include your current practice setting), OR
    2. overseeing a nurse-managed practice, service or unit, (can include your current practice setting), OR
    3. is in a position to advance into one of the independent roles listed above (a or b)

Who is eligible to apply for Team Partner?

  • is able to attend, in-person, one leadership onsite retreat in Durham, NC on October 22-25, 2020 and two web-conferences scheduled for September 12-13, 2020 and February 20-21, 2021.
  • is able to collaborate with the team lead and provide a key role on a health improvement project during program tenure
  • has minimum associate’s degree or equivalent training/experience
  • is currently employed in the United States or its territories
  • has experience providing health care services
  • has experience providing integrated/comprehensive care for vulnerable patient populations
  • has one or more years of experience in a clinical or administrative role

What is the application process?

After verifying their eligibility, interested teams should complete and submit the program’s on-line application located at the Admissions tab on the program’s website during the program application period. Completed applications received by the deadline will be reviewed and phone interviews conducted with applicants eligible to continue the process.

The application period for the 2020-21 program year is from February 17 - June 12, 2020. Acceptance decisions will be finalized and communicated by email by July 13, 2020.

You provide a Team Partner Application for Team Partners to complete and submit with the online application. Are Team Partners required to use that template or can they just upload their own CVs that they already have?

We ask that Team Partner candidates please complete our Team Partner Application and refrain from submitting pre-existing CVs they may already have. The standardized content and format of our document facilitates a more efficient application review process and ensures that applicants include all the relevant information needed, which can influence the scoring of their applications. Additionally, the application contains essay questions which must be answered by the Team Partners.

What should I do if I have trouble with the online application?

If you have difficulty accessing the application, please contact

Upon accepting an invitation to join, the program, why is a Fellow's Letter of Commitment requested from me?

Program participants are asked to submit the Fellow’s Letter of Commitment to indicate understanding of agreement with program requirements related to participation including attendance and project deliverables and, to indicate their intentions to fully comply with the requirements outlined in the Fellow’s Letter of Commitment.

What happens if an applicant's employer does not submit an Employee Letter of Commitment on an applicant's behalf?

The Employer Letter of Commitment (LOC) is a required part of the application package. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. The employer LOC should be submitted as soon as possible because your team’s application will not be reviewed until we receive it. The LOC document should include signatures from the employer/supervisor of every single team member. If the completed Employer LOC is not included with the online application, the application cannot be considered for admission.

While applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, all applicants are notified of their acceptance status on the same date.

Why does the program request an Employer Letter of Commitment as part of the application?

Optimum experiences and learning from the program can only be achieved with a certain level of commitment and support from the team members’ employers/supervisors. Employers/supervisors are asked to commit to:

  • ensuring that work accommodations are made so that the individual team members can participate in all required program sessions – both onsite and distance based.
  • supporting and/or collaborating with the team, as appropriate, to define and implement the transformational project.
  • providing feedback to the program that includes commenting on the overall program, the transformational project and the team’s growth as a result of this learning experience.

Program Details

How long is the program?

The Duke-Johnson & Johnson Nurse Leadership Program is a ten-month program that begins August 15, 2020 and concludes May 23, 2021.

What are the key dates and locations for the 2020-21 program year events?

  • Applicants notified of program acceptance no later than July 13, 2020
  • Synchronous distance-based activities will begin after August 15, 2020
  • Web-conference 1: September 12-13; distance-based.
  • Onsite Retreat 1: October 22-25, 2020; Durham, NC
  • Consultative Panels: December 5-6, 11-12; distance-based.
    • Note: Teams will be required to participate in one 3-hour session on one of the dates above. Attendance at other/dates times in not required.
  • Web-conference 2: February 20-21, 2021; distance based.
  • Onsite Retreat 2: May 21-23, 2021 Durham, NC.

Individuals interested in the program should make sure that their schedule allows for them to fully participate on these dates before applying.


Due to local or national guideline changes regarding COVID-19 that may occur, the program may need to transition currently scheduled onsite events to fully distance-based activities (e.g., Zoom video conference) in order to preserve the safety and well-being of participants. Regardless of what program changes may occur, ALL participants will have the option to participate remotely in any onsite events.

Is in-person attendance required at the retreats in Durham, NC, or may team members attend leadership retreat sessions by telephone or video conferencing?

As currently planned, because the onsite leadership retreats are very interactive, involving collaborative activities and conducted at various facilities, sessions do not lend themselves to remote attendance. Team Leads are required to participate in–person for the two North Carolina onsite leadership retreats (October 2020 and May 2021). Team Partners are expected to attend in-person only the first onsite leadership retreat (October 2020). We will, however, continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic carefully and adjust program activities, as needed, to comply with state and federal guidelines on travel and social gathering matters.

Is live/synchronous participation required for the distance-based core leadership weekend web-conferences? May teams participate by telephone or review the recorded sessions at a later date?

Live, synchronous participation via webcam is required to ensure full participation in these interactive sessions.

Is live/synchronous participation required for the consultative panels? May program fellows participate by telephone or review the recorded sessions at a later date?

Each team must participate live via webcam for ONE of the consultative panels, which is expected to be 3 hours in length. Team members should reserve the consultative panel dates on their calendars now, and release unneeded time once their time slot has been assigned to them.

To participate fully, what is the time commitment required for work outside the onsite leadership retreats and distance-based core leadership web-conference?

Team members should expect to spend an average of three to five hours per week on distance-based learning and project activities using some or all of the following modalities: video-streamed lectures, video clips, audio components, guided readings, discussion boards, interactive web activities, threaded discussions, on-line modules and conference calls.

What types of projects are acceptable to fulfill the Fellowship requirements?

A wide variety of projects can meet the Program requirements. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we welcome project proposals that focus on response efforts for organizations, patients and communities. The appropriateness of project proposals will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and the program office will work with fellows to ensure that any project undertaken fulfills program criteria. Examples of those criteria include:

  1. Projects must be undertaken with a partnering agency and involve some element of collaboration.
  2. Projects may be already in progress, or may be a new piece of a larger, ongoing initiative, provided that the project is still early enough in implementation or dissemination for the team to employ and strengthen leadership and management competencies gained during the fellowship. Projects that need only data analysis or reporting are usually not acceptable.

Who are the program instructors?

The program’s faculty/facilitators are renowned experts and industry innovators from Duke University and other institutions, and health care and related professionals nationwide who bring a first-hand understanding of solutions to issues within the evolving and challenging health care environment.

Will participants be required to participate in classes and be graded on work in the program?

Although no grades will be issued, participants are expected to participate fully in program activities. This rigorous and engaging program employs a number of pedagogical methods, including independent learning activities, group work, and seminars. There will be opportunities for discussion, idea networking, distance-based learning interaction, and suggested learning activities. Specifically, participation in the onsite retreats and distance-based core leadership web-conference, as well as the development and implementation of a team’s transformational health project are a part of the requirements for successful program completion.

Are there any technology requirements for participation in the program?

In order to participate fully in this program, fellows are required to have:

  • computer storage space available to install and run a current internet browser and required software (e.g., Zoom, Web-Ex)
  • a computer headphone with a mutable microphone
  • broadband connection to the Internet (DSL, cable or satellite)
  • a webcam, compatible with the Personal Computer/Mac
  • a personal computer or Mac whose operating system is Windows 7 or MacOS or newer, with a 2.5 GHz processor and 2 GB memory, and up-to-date web browsers

Financial Information

What is the enrollment cost?

Due to the generous support of Johnson & Johnson, the program for the 2020-21 program year is offered for an enrollment fee of $3000 for a two-person team and $3900 for a three person team.

Are there any costs to participate in the program other than the enrollment fee?

Yes. Some participants may need to purchase/update computer equipment and accessories to meet program requirements. All participants will need to pay for their transportation costs to and from onsite retreats in North Carolina, but meals and lodging during mandatory onsite retreats are arranged and costs covered by the program. Learning materials/resources and training fees are covered as well. As a reminder, team leads are required to attend both onsite retreats, while all other team partners are only required to attend onsite retreat #1 (October 22-25, 2020).

If offered an invitation to join the program, how do my team and I accept the offer?

After invitations to join the program are sent to successful applicants, applicants planning to enroll should indicate their intent in writing via email within five days to the program and pay enrollment costs within ten days of the date of the program’s invitation letter. If a message of intent has not been received before the five-day period expires, the applicant’s reserved space will be released.