Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

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

Duke University Schools of Medicine and Nursing partnered with Johnson & Johnson to create the Duke-Johnson & Johnson Nurse Leadership Program, the purpose of which is to provide advanced practice nurses (specifically nurse practitioners and certified nurse midwives) — especially those working in community practice settings — with leadership and management skills to effectively and efficiently deliver primary care services to diverse populations. Nurses prepared to lead clinical units, services or practices can contribute significantly to increasing access to care, particularly to vulnerable populations for whom quality health care is limited.

What is meant by “Primary Care”?

“Primary care” includes the provision of integrated, accessible health care services by clinicians who are accountable for addressing a large majority of personal health care needs, developing a sustained partnership with patients, and practicing in the context of family and community.

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 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, geography, housing, and poverty.

Who is the intended participant in this program?

The Duke-Johnson & Johnson Nurse Leadership Program is designed to support advanced practice nurses (specifically nurse practitioners and certified nurse midwives) who deliver primary care services and serve vulnerable populations. Ideal candidates for this program are nurse practitioners and certified nurse midwives who wish to acquire or improve in the skills and knowledge required to be a successful nurse leader in a clinical setting.

How many fellows will be accepted into the program?

Up to forty-five advanced practice nurses will be selected to participate in the program.

Will what 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 advanced practice nurses (specifically nurse practitioners and certified nurse midwives) who work or plan to work in an administrative leadership role. The program seeks to enhance the skill level of nurses who wish to learn more about the managerial part of leading clinical units, services or practices which provide primary care services.

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 nurse 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, continuing nurse education contact hours will be awarded for many of the seminars and workshops provided in the on-site 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 919.681.5724, or email at

Admissions and Deadlines

When are the informational webinars about the program?

Informational webinars about the 2019-20 program ave concluded.

Watch a recorded webinar: Developing Advanced Practice Nurses as leaders in Clinical Settings

Who is eligible for admission?

To be eligible for admission, an applicant must be an advanced practice nurse who:

  • has a graduate education degree in nursing
  • is credentialed/certified as a nurse practitioner or certified nurse midwife
  • is currently practicing in the United States or its territories
  • has experience providing primary care services
  • has experience providing services for vulnerable patient populations
  • has one 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)

Can more than one applicant from the same organization apply/be accepted?

Yes. Applicants will be reviewed and selected based on their individual merits.

What is the application process?

After verifying their eligibility, interested persons 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 2019-20 program year is from October 1 - December 7, 2018. Acceptance decisions will be finalized and communicated by email by March 1, 2019.

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 application will not be reviewed until we receive it. Applicants for whom Employer LOC are not received by the application deadline 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 fellow’s employer. Employers are asked to commit to:

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

What happens if I change jobs in the during the program year, do I need to resubmit an Employer Letter of Commitment?

Yes, a new Employer Letter of Commitment needs to be signed, dated and submitted to the program office.

Program Details

How long is the program and where are sessions held?

The Duke-Johnson & Johnson Nurse Leadership Program is a one year program that begins with an on-site meeting in April of each year, with some pre-work completed in advance. The program features distance-based and on-site learning components. The on-site leadership retreats are held two times during each program year. Each on-site retreat is held on or near the Duke University campus in Durham, North Carolina. A distance-based core leadership web-conference is held in November. Additional distance-based learning sessions, facilitated through the university’s on-line learning environment, augment the program.

What are the dates for the 2019-20 on-site leadership retreats and distance-based core leadership web-conference?

Fellows will meet in-person with an initial, immersive on-site retreat April 25-28, 2019 in Durham, NC. A second, distance-based core leadership web-conference will be held November 16-17, 2019. A final on-site retreat will be held in Durham at the program’s conclusion May 1-3, 2020. Individuals interested in the program should make sure that their schedule allows for them to fully participate on these dates before applying.

Is in-person attendance required at the retreats in Durham, NC, or may program fellows attend some retreat sessions by telephone or video conferencing?

In–person attendance for the two North Carolina on-site leadership retreats is a requirement of the program. Because the on-site leadership retreats are very interactive, involving collaborative activities and conducted at various facilities, sessions do not lend themselves to remote attendance.

Is live/synchronous participation required for the distance-based core leadership web-conference? May program fellows 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.

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

Fellows should expect to spend an average of three to four 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. 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 fellow 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 fellows be required to participate in classes and be graded on work in the program?

Although no grades will be issued, all fellows 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 on-site retreats and distance-based core leadership web-conference, as well as the development, implementation and evaluation of an individual fellow’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 2019-20 program year is offered for an enrollment fee of $1,500.

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

Yes. Fellows will need to pay for their transportation costs to and from on-site retreats in North Carolina two times during the program year. Some fellows may also need to purchase/update computer equipment and accessories to meet program requirements. However, meals and lodging during on-site retreats are arranged and costs covered by the program, and learning materials/resources and training fees are covered as well.

If offered an invitation to join the program, how do 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 to the program and pay enrollment costs within seven days of the date of the program’s invitation letter. If a message of intent has not been received before the seven-day period expires, the applicant’s reserved space will be released.