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What is the Mid-Career Nurse Leadership Program?

The Mid-Career Nurse Leadership Program is a dynamic course which empowers nurses to lead change in a rapidly changing environment. If you are a registered nurse who has more than six years of professional experience and have worked in or are new to the management and leadership role, this course is for you.

By taking part in this innovative course, you will be empowered and aspired through personal development, career coaching and learning sets. Once you graduate, you will be equipped with the skills to lead health workplace cultures through innovation, redesign and change. You will have honed the ability to develop high-performing teams that have a culture of success and achievement.

Start your unlimited leadership journey today, be a more successful leader

The ACN Mid-Career Nurse Leadership Program represents a powerful opportunity for you to develop the skills and behaviours that will differentiate you as a leader in today’s changing health care environment. As a high potential mid-career nurse leader, you will be supported to achieve with the knowledge and skills of experts in their fields.

You will receive six months of coaching from ACN’s Members and/or Fellows who will provide you with feedback and guidance, in order to practice meaningful, outcome-driven coaching conversations.

About the program

For you to participate in this innovative program, you will need to meet the following selection criteria:

  • Be currently registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA)
  • Have a minimum of six years’ postgraduate experience or be able to demonstrate an ability to influence organisations, team practices and/or cultures
    Such as nurse leaders seeking promotion into a management position
  • Be able to demonstrate leadership qualities in nursing and/or the health or aged care systems
    Such as recently appointed managers seeking to fast-track their development into confident self-directed leaders
  • Ability to complete the program work during the six-month timeframe

Mid-Career Nurse Leadership Program masterclasses will take place on the following dates in 2022:

  • 21-25 February 2022 (Canberra)
  • 4-8 April 2022 (Location TBA)
  • 5-9 September 2022 (Location TBA).

You can apply now to secure your spot or register your interest to be notified as soon as more information becomes available.

On successful completion of this program, you will be able to:

  • demonstrate an understanding of the health and aged care systems in Australia and articulate the regulatory framework for the nursing profession
  • outline the health challenges of the 21st century and provide examples of how nursing is leading the way in meeting these challenges
  • lead health workplace cultures through innovation, redesign and change
  • apply the fundamentals of management to the workplace
  • demonstrate nursing leadership in developing high-performing teams that have a culture of success and achievement
  • identify key factors when evaluating effective workplace performance and patient care
  • demonstrate self-awareness and resilience that empowers you as a nurse leader.
  • Nursing leadership and strategy
  • High-performing teams leading and managing quality improvements
  • Clinical governance
  • Human resource management and communication
  • Health economics and financial management

What do I need to complete the program?

You will have successfully completed the program once you demonstrate the following:

  • Completion of the five-day face-to-face masterclass
  • Participation in coaching sessions
  • Submission of written work demonstrating completion of a project/quality improvement initiative in line with the program modules

Plus, one or more of the following:

  • Participation in research and/or publishing on key nursing issues
  • Participation in action learning sets
  • Representation of the nursing profession
  • Demonstrated public speaking and presentation

What do I gain from completing this program?

You will be recognised as completing the Mid-Career Nurse Leadership Program delivered by highly respected senior nursing leaders in Australia. You will receive 36 hours towards your CPD requirements.

Once you have completed this program you will automatically become part of our dynamic, inspiring and talented alumni community. As an alumni participant you can access a range of benefits and services.

This course is valued at $5,500. At this time, ACN is extending two special offers for our members and Affiliate* organisations:

  • ACN members: gifted a 10% discount, bringing the course fee to $4,950
  • ACN Affiliates (*Platinum, Gold and Silver): gifted a 10% discount, bringing the course fee to $4,950
  • Non-members: $5,500 (be sure to contact membership@acn.edu.au should you wish to become a member)

The enrolment fee does not cover travel and accommodation costs associated with attendance at the face-to-face workshop for the program.

Christine Duffield

Emeritus Professor Christine Duffield FACN

President, Australian College of Nursing and Professor of Nursing and Health Services Management, University of Technology Sydney and Edith Cowan University

» About me

Christine Duffield is an internationally renowned and passionate nurse who has worked across direct care, consultancy, academia, research and in leadership roles to spearhead the advancement of the nursing profession in Canada, New Zealand, the UK, and Australia for over 40 years. She is a Professor of Nursing and Health Services Management at Edith Cowan University, Perth; Emeritus Professor University of Technology Sydney and President/Chair Australian College of Nursing.

Having published over 200 research papers, Christine was named in Mendeley’s Top 100,000 Cited Researchers of the World in 2020. Christine is also the Associate Editor for the International Journal of Nursing Studies, the most highly ranked international nursing journal.

Christine led the development of the first five industry funded Chairs of Nursing in Australia and has been instrumental in establishing key institutions including the Centre for Graduate Nursing Studies (1989) and the Centre for Health Services Management (1999).

Christine has held numerous senior University roles on Academic and Graduate Students Committees and has made a significant impact to the nursing profession by attracting over $14M in research funding as Chief Investigator, supervised 30+ research students and examined 30+ research theses.

Christine is an experienced Board Director who has established and chaired Clinical Governance Committees for two aged care Boards.

As the President/Chair of the Australian College of Nursing (ACN), she has led the review of the ACN Constitution, governance policies and procedures and assisted in moving to a skills-based Board.

A skilled leader, Christine has been a member of State and Commonwealth Committees including Health Workforce Australia; Grants Committee Rosemary Bryant Centre; NHMRC and ARC expert review panels; Australian Commission on Safety and Quality Advisory Committee – Recognising and Responding to Clinical Deterioration and has represented Australia on panels for the International Council of Nurses.

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Kylie Ward

Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN

Chief Executive Officer, Australian College of Nursing

» About me

ACN CEO, RN, M.Mgt, Dip.App.Sci (Nursing), Acute Care Cert., FACN, FCHSM, Wharton Fellow, MAICD

Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN is a renowned leader and a passionate CEO who has shaped the Australian College of Nursing (ACN) to become a prominent and influential professional organisation. As well as leading a strong and collective voice for the nursing profession to improve patient outcomes and the social determinants of health for all Australians, Kylie is also driven to improve gender equality and diversity as well as promoting the importance of women in leadership roles both nationally and internationally.

Kylie’s distinguished career spans almost three decades, and has seen her hold Executive positions in the largest health services in NSW and VIC. Through her commitment to reform, transformational change and leadership development, she has been awarded honorary Professorships from Monash University, Deakin University, University of Technology Sydney, Western Sydney University and Federation University.

Kylie is the first nurse to be appointed by the Federal Minister as a Board Director of the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA). She is a Board Director of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC), as well as serving Ministerial appointments to the Aged Services Industry Reform Committee (IRC) and the Health Translation Advisory Committee (HTAC) of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

Dedicating her career and purpose to empowering others, Kylie has received widespread recognition and received multiple awards including the 2017 ACT Telstra Business Woman of the Year Award for Social Purpose and Enterprise and 2018 Western Sydney University’s prestigious Alumni Award for Professional Excellence.

Kylie is an inspiring leader with a flair for inspiring others and promoting a socially responsible and progressive culture. A motivational executive, Kylie has led thousands with her holistic, innovative and transformational approach to leadership, focusing on building resilience and empowering people to meet organisational challenges.

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Adjunct Professor Debra Thoms

Adjunct Professor Debra Thoms FACN (DLF)

Former Commonwealth Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer

» About me

RN RM BA MNA Grad Bioethics, Adv Dip Arts FCN FRCNA FACHSM (Hon)

Adjunct Professor Debra Thoms FACN (DLF) is the former Commonwealth Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, a role she held from August 2015 to July 2019. She was previously the inaugural Chief Executive Officer of the Australian College of Nursing, a position she was appointed to in May 2012 following six years as the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer with NSW Health.

Debra holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Psychology, Master of Nursing Administration and Graduate Certificate in Bioethics. She also holds an Advanced Diploma of Arts (History/French) and a governance and risk management qualification.

Debra is an experienced leader and manager who, following clinical roles in cardiothoracic and remote and rural nursing, has held senior roles as CEO of a rural health service, general manager of the Royal Hospital for Women in Sydney as well as Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer with the South Australian Department of Health.

In her role as Commonwealth CNMO Debra represented Australia at the World Health Assembly and as a member of the Executive Board of the WHO. During 2020  she has gained experience in the tertiary sector as the acting Head of School, Nursing at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane.  In 2005 Debra was selected to attend the Johnson and Johnson Wharton Fellows Program at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Her contribution to nursing and health care has been recognised by an Outstanding Alumni Award from the University of Technology, Sydney, where she also holds an appointment as Adjunct Professor, and the awarding of Distinguished Life Fellowship by ACN. In 2020 as part of the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife Debra was recognised in the 100 Outstanding Nurse and Midwife Leaders for her contribution to global healthcare.

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Dr Jennifer Bichel-Findley

Dr Jen Bichel-Findlay FACN

Honorary Associate, Faculty of Health, University of Technology Sydney and Secretary and Director, Australasian Institute of Digital Health

» About me

HScD, MN, MPH, GDipN, BAppSc, DipAppSc, CHIA, RN

Dr Jen Bichel-Findlay FACN has been employed in the health service industry for 45 years in clinical, educative and managerial roles, and understands how technology and digitisation can influence patient outcomes and service delivery efficiency in the complex healthcare environment. Having worked on several local, state and national health informatics activities, she is not only committed to supporting data driven decision making at the local level but also major health reform through innovation and digital health initiatives at a state and national level.

Jen was the inaugural Director of Digital Health & Innovation at the UTS Faculty of Health, and has co-authored chapters addressing health informatics in nursing texts. She is currently a Board Director and Secretary for the Australasian Institute of Digital Health (AIDH), Chair of the AIDH Nursing and Midwifery Community of Practice, and Vice President Special Affairs for the International Medical Informatics Association. Jen is a Fellow of both the AIDH and the Australian College of Nursing, and an Associate Fellow of the Australasian College of Health Service Management.

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Karen Cook

Karen Cook FACN

Former Senior Nursing and Midwifery Adviser, Office of the Commonwealth Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer

» About me

Karen has been a registered nurse for almost 40 years.

In her lengthy career she has worked in a variety of settings here and in the UK. Most recently she was Senior Nursing and Midwifery Adviser in the Office of the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer in the Australian Government Department of Health. Prior to this she held positions as Nursing Adviser at Health Workforce Australia and Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council.

In her spare time Karen is a marriage celebrant and event MC.

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Adjunct Associate Professor Susanne Hawes FACN

Adjunct Professor Sue Hawes FACN

Board Director, Australian College of Nursing, Health Executive and Consultant

» About me

MRNC, RN, BHlthSc, Grad Cert (Disability), EMBA
Greenbelt Six Sigma, CoachU Dip

Adjunct Professor Sue Hawes FACN is a registered nurse and has worked in numerous roles as a senior clinician and executive. She was the former Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer of the Northern Territory (NT) and the Executive Director of the Hazard Management Authority, which held governance and accountability for NT’s COVID-19 response.

Sue is committed to the development of others and participates in regular coaching and teaching. She enjoys collaborating with health staff to solve wicked problems that deliver improvements to service delivery. Sue is a Fellow of ACN and Board member.

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Samantha Jakimowicz MACN

Dr Samantha Jakimowicz FACN

Lecturer, University of Technology Sydney

» About me

Dr Samantha Jakimowicz FACN is the Director Professional Engagement at the Australian College of Nursing. She recently moved to this position from the University of Technology Sydney where she worked as a Senior Lecturer for a number of years. Samantha’s clinical, education and research experience is broad, however has focused on intensive care, leadership and specialised nursing, for example prostate cancer specialist nursing. She is an experienced researcher using co-design and mixed methods research. Her research interests and expertise lie with compassion, empathy, patient experience, nurse wellbeing and workforce sustainability. She has published extensively on these topics. Samantha is passionate about nurse workforce sustainability and retention and is an active member of the Workforce Sustainability Policy Chapter, the Domestic Violence Taskforce and Deputy Chair of the NSW/Sydney Region of the Australian College of Nursing. Samantha conducts wellbeing sessions aligned with empathic listening, compassionate leadership and advocates for nurses supporting nurses.

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Mark Kearin FACN

Mark Kearin FACN

Manager Member Organising Team, ANMF

» About me

Mark Kearin FACN is a nurse professional with over 25 years’ experience in senior nursing and heath executive roles in major health services in NSW and QLD. Mark prides himself on his analytical, data mining, financial, workforce and project management skills which have enabled informed decision making for improved patient outcomes and effective service delivery model implementation.

Mark’s exceptional skills in workforce modelling, skills mix analysis and understanding of the industrial framework underpinning acute, aged care and primary and community health settings has advanced him as a sought after expert in the workplace, as well as lecturing in the tertiary sector. Mark has an innate understanding of using data to support decision making, financial management of health care with a focus on case-mix and activity based funding models.

Mark’s contribution to the nursing profession in Australia extends to his appointment as a Non-Executive Director on the Nurses and Midwives Health Insurance Board and a Council Member of the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards.

Mark has been a trailblazer in his areas of expertise throughout his career. He was the first Nursing Unit Manager in NSW to trial unit based budgeting and the first nurse within the heath service to have a dual role of a Nursing Director and Business Manager within a clinical stream across a number of facilities, paving the way for nurses in NSW to be respected as dual professionals.

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Dr Lynette Cusack MACN

Dr Lynette Cusack MACN

Outgoing Chair, Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia

» About me

RN, midwife, PhD, MHA, BN, DN,MRCN Adelaide Nursing School, University of Adelaide

Dr Lynette Cusack MACN is an Associate Professor in the Adelaide Nursing School. Her research focus is on the contemporary role of the nurse/midwife in a range of different contexts; evaluating models of practice, including impact on the health care system, interdisciplinary team and patients’/women’s experience. Lynette is a member of the International Collaboration on Occupational Resilience (ICOR) and has been involved in developing models of workplace resilience for nurses/midwives. Lynette provides practice based research support to nurses and midwives at a major metropolitan hospital in South Australia. Other teaching and research contributions include leadership and management, professional practice development and disaster response. Lynette previously worked in a range of community health settings, including home nursing, community health centres and in an executive role in drug and alcohol services. Lynette also has many years of experience in nursing and midwifery regulation.

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Ms Deb Pittam MACN

Communications Coordinator, ACN Leadership COI

» About me

RN, MHlthSciEd (hons), Dip Coaching, NLP Practitioner, PCC, MACN

Deb is the Founder and Principal of Person Centred Leadership providing consultancy services, facilitation, coaching, mentoring and supervision in the health and not for profit sectors since 2012.  She has been nursing for more than 30 years specialising in community health, sexual health, population health, health promotion, custodial health, practice development and leadership and leadership development.  Areas of interest include women’s health, women in leadership and wellbeing at work. She is passionate about leadership and leadership development in health because she believes it is essential for thriving positive workplace cultures and wellbeing of staff and patients. Nurses are in every context across health and as a result influence at all levels in healthcare. Deb believes that nurses, nursing and nursing leadership underpins the health and effectiveness of our health care system and the people who work within it.

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Dr Christine Dennis

Associate Professor, Flinders University

» About me

Dr Christine Dennis is an experienced Chief Executive Officer with a demonstrated history of working in the hospital & health care industry.

Christine is skilled in health care management, strategic and operational planning, clinical governance, patient safety, and health policy.

Christine is a strong business development professional and holds a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) focused in International Business and Strategic Planning from the University of South Australia. In 2019, Christine moved into academia full-time to contribute to the growth and development of our emerging health leaders.

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Apply now

Mid-Career Nurse Leadership Program masterclasses  will take place on the following dates in 2022:

  • 21-25 February 2022 (Canberra)
  • 4-8 April 2022 (Location TBA)
  • 5-9 September 2022 (Location TBA).

You can apply now to secure your spot or subscribe to program updates to be notified as soon as more information becomes available.

Note: You will need to log in to your account before applying. If you do not have an existing account, please register and follow the prompts.

Nursing Now Challenge

The Nursing Now Challenge aims for thousands of young nurses and midwives, aged 35 or under, to benefit from leadership and development training around the world.

The challenge is calling on large employers of nurses globally to provide leadership and development training for 20 young nurses and midwives. This will give young nurses the skills they need to play an even more influential role in global health.

Nursing Now logo

Subsidised registration rates

We are proud to support the Nursing Now Challenge by offering a subsidised Mid-Career Nurse Leadership Program registration rate of $4,000 for young nurses and midwives, aged 35 or under. To take advantage of the opportunity to access the discounted rate for yourself or a staff member please contact leadership@acn.edu.au for more information.