Click here to print a copy of these FAQs.
May I submit the application by mail?
No. The NLN will not accept applications submitted by mail.
All documents (application, statement, CV and letters of
support) must be submitted in one electronic file using the
How do applicants demonstrate their eligibility? What are the characteristics
of the applicants selected to become fellows?
Applicants must meet all eligibility criteria. These criteria can be demonstrated
by the following: chronology of sustained contributions that have endured over
time and been substantial; documentation of how your visionary leadership in
nursing education stimulated change and helped create a preferred future for
nursing education; citation of specific outcomes that are a direct result of
your work; an analysis of how your contributions to nursing education have been
congruent with and helped advance the mission and goals of the NLN. Successful
applicants provide clear examples of contributions that are above and beyond
the responsibilities associated with their employment. They also explain how
their work has influenced nursing education, show that their contributions to
nursing education have been broad in scope and not limited to their own classrooms
or schools, and document how dissemination of their work through various formats
has influenced and advanced nursing education.
What information should I include in my applicant
statements? How can I present my work to the best advantage?
Your statements should address how your contributions are differentiated from
your employment responsibilities; the impact of your work on nursing education;
clarity about your area of contribution to nursing education and how that focus has guided your professional work over time;
and how your work has contributed to nursing education (vs clinical, vs nursing
in general). Now is not the time to be modest! Give specific information about
the outcome, results, or use of your work. For example, “developed an
innovative curriculum” is not as specific as “consulted with several
schools to revise their BSN curriculum to include informatics competencies".
Results of employer surveys at these schools indicated students were better
prepared for clinical practice in their agencies because of the revisions to
the curriculum. Connect what you are doing to future goals and "next steps".
Do I need to identify a primary area of excellence?
Yes, you should identify a primary area of excellence. While most applicants have expertise in many areas of nursing education,
the applicant should identify one overarching theme or area that encompasses
the other areas of excellence. The lead sentence in the application should indicate
“I am recognized for my contributions to nursing education community in
the area of XXX”. Each, of the four parts of the statement should provide
supporting examples of the contributions and the impact and outcome of the work.
If I can only provide a 6 page CV, what information should I include?
The CV provides evidence of your enduring and substantial contributions to nursing
education. In addition to a condensed section of biographical information (education,
relevant employment history), the CV should provide concrete information about
your primary area of excellence and include examples of honors and awards, publications,
presentations, research, and service in that area. By selecting relevant examples,
your CV can demonstrate a record of continued contributions, for example a sustained
record of dissemination of your work (publications, presentations), or a leadership
trajectory, for example moving from a committee member, to a committee chair,
to a member of a board of the organization. If there are unusual circumstances
or gaps (for example, gaps of employment, of service, or of publication productivity)
it is appropriate to comment on these in your statement.
What is visionary leadership?
Visionary leadership refers to one’s ability to envision changes
that will enhance and improve nursing education and enlist others to help make
that vision become reality. It involves true leadership skills including effective
communication, an ability to articulate the vision clearly, an ability to work
collaboratively with others, an ability to manage conflicts that may arise during
the process of change, dedication to and passion about the vision, and a willingness
to take risks. The vision may relate to any number of education-focused concerns
including promoting student engagement in the learning process, finding ways
to help disadvantaged students be successful in nursing, integrating technology
into the learning process, or enhancing the transition of individual from clinical
roles to the teaching role. Articulation and realization of the vision may occur
through publications, presentations, research, consultation, service in professional
organizations, mentoring, or any number of other strategies.
Who should I ask to write a letter of support? What
information should they include?
You should request letters of support from people who are familiar with your
work and the impact it has had on nursing education. Letters of support can
come from your administrator (dean, department chair), the chair of a national
committee on which you served who can discuss the impact of your contributions
to the work of that group, a member of a community or professional nursing organization
who can describe how your work contributed to the organization, or a colleague
who uses the results of your work. Each letter should speak to a different aspect
of your work so that when the two reference letters are reviewed in conjunction
with your own statements, a clear picture is presented of the extent and significance
of your contributions. When all references speak to the same points or do little
more than list things already in your CV, a less-than-complete picture is presented.
It is helpful to send your own four-part statement and your CV to each person
from whom you are requesting a letter of support, and indicate to each one the
specific aspect of your work you would like her/him to address. Reference letters
should give specific examples about the outcomes and impact of your work. In
essence, the reference letters, along with your statements and CV, should provide
compelling evidence about the enduring and substantial nature of your work in
Note: Current NLN Board of Governors, NLN Foundation Board of Trustees, Academy
review panel, and NLN staff may not be used as a reference.
If I don’t have a doctoral degree, can I still apply to become a fellow?
Yes. The criteria do not specify any requirement for a particular degree of
credential. Emphasis is given to enduring and substantial contributions that
have had a significant impact on nursing education.
If I teach in an associate degree or practical nurse program, am a consultant
or am not a nurse, can I become a fellow?
Yes. There are no requirements that fellows teach in any particular type of
program or that they hold a faculty appointment at all. Individuals who are
in faculty positions may teach or hold administrative or staff positions in
practical nurse, associate degree, diploma, baccalaureate, master’s, or
doctoral programs in nursing. Individuals who do not hold faculty appointments
also are eligible for fellowship, as are non-nurses. The factor that determines
recommendation for fellowship is whether the applicant has demonstrated sustained
and significant contributions that have had an impact on and made a difference
in nursing education.
Do I have to have a strong record of funded research in order to be recommended
as a fellow?
No. It is not a requirement that you have a strong record of funded research
for recommendation to fellowship. If you have completed extensive research –
with or without funding – it must be research that clearly impacts nursing
education. For example, research into nursing interventions related to care
of a particular patient population may inform what a faculty member teaches,
but it does not influence nursing education per se. Research that influences
nursing education itself focuses on teaching and learning, curriculum design
and implementation, faculty development, new pedagogies, and so on. More important
than the completion or funding of this research is that you demonstrate how
the findings from your studies have influenced the design and delivery of nursing
education. For example, you might list schools or faculty who are using your
work or the extent to which your work is cited by scholars outside your own
If my contributions have been in the area of clinical practice or public policy,
am I eligible for fellowship?
While contributions to the advancement of clinical nursing practice or public
policy related to health care delivery are important, they are not the type
of contributions expected of fellows in the Academy of Nursing Education. Instead,
fellows are expected to focus their work and contributions (publications, presentations,
consultation, research, etc.) on nursing education, public policy as it relates
to nursing education, and so on.
Is there a limit to the number of fellows who can be inducted in any given year?
No. There is no minimum or maximum number of fellows to be inducted in any given
year. If 100 applications are received and each one clearly meets all criteria
for fellowship, all 100 can be recommended for induction as fellows. Likewise,
if there are 25 applications and only five meet all criteria, then only those
five will be recommended for induction as fellows.
How can I best present my application?
The application should be professionally presented, including proper grammar
and spelling. It is not necessary to submit an application that includes color,
borders, photos, or any other “special effects”. Proofread the application
prior to submission and request assistance from a colleague or writing center
If I am not selected for fellowship the first time, may I apply again?
There is no limit to the number of times a person can submit an application to be considered for Fellowship in the Academy of Nursing Education. Prior to resubmitting an application, the applicant should review the criteria to determine if there are areas in which further career development might be needed. For example, applicants may not have yet developed a mature body of work for which they can identify a primary area of substantial and enduring contribution, can not describe a plan for providing visionary leadership, or offer evidence of congruence with the NLN mission and goals. Mentors, colleagues, and current Fellows can serve as sources of support when making a decision to reapply.
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