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About the program

If you are an ambitious go-getter looking for an opportunity to step outside of your comfort zone to advance your career and become the best nurse leader you can be then look no further! The ENL program will help you develop your leadership skills and confidence through unparalleled access to high profile nurse leaders, mentoring, career coaching and professional development opportunities. The program is self-paced and self-driven, meaning you will get as much out of the program as you put in. Participants will be required to independently complete a range of activities in order to accrue the points required to complete the program.

ENL program objectives

  • Identify and have a greater awareness and understanding of their own leadership qualities, through self-assessment and ACN professional feedback
  • See an improvement in their own leadership confidence and effectiveness
  • Have developed a social, ethical and professional understanding of contemporary health care environments to provide nurse leadership within the health care context
  • Have a growing understanding of the socio-political environment of nursing
  • Have a better understanding of change mechanisms within the profession of nursing and health sector
  • Be better equipped to understand the development of nursing policy, research and education and its influence on the profession and broader health environment

Apply now!

Applications for the 2021 ENL program intake are now open. Each year the ENL program identifies nursing students and early career nurses who have demonstrated a commitment to leadership in nursing through their involvement in student or community activities, student representation and/or other involvement in the advancement of the nursing profession.

ACN supports participants through a nine-month program of personal and professional development. The ENL program is a ‘points-based certificate’ which means that successful applicants are required to complete a range of activities in order to earn points.

  • To achieve a Certificate of Completion participants must gain 150 points
  • To be presented with a High Achiever Award participants must earn in excess of 250 points

Eligibility criteria for each program stage are outlined below. The opportunity to apply is an exclusive benefit for ACN members and the program is offered free of charge to successful applicants. You will need to sign in to the application form using your ACN membership details. If you haven’t joined the ACN tribe yet don’t worry, you can join online now and will receive your login details within two working days.

Applications for the 2021 program intake will close at 11:59pm on Sunday 26 April 2020.

Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application in early September 2020. Successful participants will commence the program on 1 October 2020 and complete the program on 30 June 2021. An ENL Graduation Ceremony will be held at the ACN National Nursing Forum in August 2021 to celebrate participants’ successful completion of the program.

If you require further information or assistance to complete your application form, please email leadership@acn.edu.au.

ENL program benefits

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ENL mentoring program

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Invitations to exclusive ACN events

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Networking with high profile nurse leaders

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Full registration for the ACN National Nursing Forum

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Opportunity to build a profile within the profession

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ACN Leadership workshops

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Career coaching

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Professional development webinars

Program overview and eligibility

The program is divided into five stages reflecting the challenges and opportunities nurses face as they progress through their leadership journeys. Each stage extends over a period of nine months and participants are welcome to enter at the program stage that corresponds to their career level.

To be eligible to apply for the 2021 program intake applicants must be current ACN members and meet the following criteria in January 2021:

Stage 1

ENL empowered to learn
Empowered to LEARN

Students completing a Diploma of Nursing, Bachelor of Nursing (final year), Nursing Masters or Nursing Honours year

Stage 2

ENL empowered to grow
Empowered to GROW

Enrolled nurses or registered nurses in their first year of practice

Stage 3

ENL empowered to reach
Empowered to REACH

Enrolled nurses or registered nurses in their second or third year of practice

Stage 4

ENL empowered to achieve
Empowered to ACHIEVE

Enrolled nurses or registered nurses in their fourth or fifth year of practice

Stage 5

ENL empowered to lead
Empowered to LEAD

Enrolled nurses or registered nurses in their sixth year of practice

Meet our current ENLs and Graduates

View our 2020 cohort and connect with them on neo.

You can find out about the ENL journey of our remarkable 2019 Graduates through their reflections in the ENL Program Graduate eBook.

Meet our 2020 ENLs


For further information contact ACN Leadership

e: leadership@acn.edu.au
t: 1800 061 660