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ONA Nurse Leadership Institute

The ONA Nurse Leadership Institute (NLI), launched in 2015, is designed to support ONA’s vision, to create a cohesive and dynamic community of peers that is organized to affect change and respond to challenges in politics, practice, and labor.

An intensive, unique leadership program, built on an evidence-based leadership model, the NLI will help you develop and strengthen vital skills needed to advance the nursing profession.

Much more than a training program, the NLI is a six-session experience that provides participants with the opportunity to understand and develop their leadership style, explore foundational leadership practices, build fundamental skills, and receive specific feedback and support.

Cornerstones of the ONA Nurse Leadership Institute:

  • Motivating leaders to be catalysts for positive change
  • Strengthening collaborative leadership skills
  • Enriching and renewing personal values by deepening understanding of oneself and others
  • Providing challenges and supportive encouragement during the leadership journey

The class will be limited to no more than 25 participants, allowing for an intimate setting and hands-on instruction. This is a great opportunity for members to learn new leadership skills and strengthen skills they already possess to help them take an active role in advancing the field of nursing and leading ONA into the future.

NLI Components


There are seven sessions, taking place over an eight-month period. During the sessions, participants will learn how to:

  1. Expand your self-confidence about your leadership ability.
  2. Enhance critical and reflective thinking.
  3. Initiate organizational change.
  4. Develop the ability to take thoughtful and meaningful risks, both personally and organizationally.
  5. Manage organizational politics ethically.
  6. Address real-time issues with colleagues.
  7. Become a leader in ONA and an advocate for the nursing profession in your workplace, in your community, and in the state.

Action Learning Project

To apply and integrate the information from the NLI, each participant will work on a real-life action learning project.


Cohorts are groups of three to four Institute members who meet between the seminars to jointly carry out an Action Learning Project. Working with a cohort on the Action Learning Project provides an opportunity to apply and integrate the information learned in the Institute.


NLI participants are paired with a mentor who will help participants apply their knowledge and learning, provide additional exposure to the realities of leadership and increase their understanding of the complexities and opportunities facing ONA leaders.


NLI is FREE for Members

ONA members are invited to participate in the NLI at no cost. The program is free for members and ONA members who travel 100 miles or more (one way) to participate in NLI may be eligible to be reimbursed for travel and lodging.


NLI Session Topics

Session #1
- Introduction to Evidence-Based Leadership
- Leadership is About Self-Awareness & Relationships
- Leadership is About Walking Your Talk
Session #2
- Leadership is About Creating a Shared Picture of a Desired Future
Session #3
- Leadership is About Change
Session #4
- Leadership is About Risk Taking, Part 1
Session #5
- Leadership is About Risk Taking, Part 2
Session #6
- Leadership is About Helping Others Be Successful
Session #7
- Launching to the Next Level of Leadership

Nursing Education Contact Hours

Participants can earn 15 continuing nursing education contact hours.

Oregon Nurses Association is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.



To be considered, an applicant must meet the following criteria:

  • Be an ONA member in good standing
  • You must be able to attend every session in their entirety. 
  • Make a commitment to seek and hold an ONA leadership position at the local or state level within two years of completing the program. Click here to see a list of ONA leadership positions and their position descriptions.



If you are interested in submitting an application to take part in a future NLI, please click the link below to download/open a fillable PDF application.

Please be sure to save the blank document to your computer and opening it using Adobe Reader to ensure full functionality.

If you have questions or missed the application period but are still interested in being part of the NLI, please contact Larlene Dunsmuir at or by phone at (503) 293-0011 ext. 315.

The application period closed Friday, Aug. 3, 2018.



ONA members taking part in the NLI may be eligible to have travel, hotel and meals funded by ONA.

Requirements for Successful Completion of this CNE Activity

In order to obtain a Certificate of Successful Completion for this activity, the learner must complete the following criteria:

  • Sign the Verification of Attendance Form at the registration desk
  • Attend the entire session
  • Complete and submit the online evaluation form for each session attended by specified due date for each session.

Participants who successfully complete the above requirements will receive a Certificate of Successful Completion from ONA for the contact hours claimed during the evaluation process. Participants should only claim the sessions which were attended in full. Any participant who has NOT claimed their contact hours by the specified due dates will NOT receive a Certificate of Successful Completion.



The planners of this CNE activity declare no conflicts of interest in the development and implementation of this educational activity.

The faculty/presenters/authors of this CNE activity declare no conflict of interest. All faculty/presenters/authors for this activity have attested that she/he will provide the best available evidence for this content and present information fairly and without bias.



If you have questions about the ONA Nurse Leadership Institute or are interested in participating in the NLI in the future, please contact Amy Ferguson at or by phone at (503) 293-0011 ext. 306.


Second Class

Congratulations to our second cohort on completing the NLI!

Each group in the cohort completed an Action Learning Plan as part of the program. The summaries and reports from each of the groups can be found here:

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Oregon Nurses Association
18765 SW Boones Ferry Rd. Suite 200, Tualatin, OR 97062
(503) 293-0011 or 800-634-3552 (Oregon Only)