Nurse Leadership - Association of California Nursing Leaders (ACNL)

3 min read


The Association of California Nursing Leaders (ACNL) is always looking for new ways to engage members and support their network of California nurse leaders. In partnership with OpusVi, ACNL supported 30 California nurses across diverse healthcare settings ranging from CNOs to Clinic Supervisors, among other specialties, as they completed a 12-week Certificate in Nurse Leadership program with Duke CE. The success of this program not only bolstered the knowledge, skills and attitudes of learners but also contributed to increased ACNL membership.


The Challenge

According to the Hospital Association of Southern California, nursing vacancy rates among local hospitals exceed 30%. Before the pandemic, the average vacancy rate was 6%. Nurses across the state are facing unprecedented challenges with staffing shortages and an increased retirement rate. This has caused many nurses to need to rise into leadership positions without the same level of training afforded to those who came before them. 

ACNL needed a way to support its members on their career and leadership development journeys and wanted to find ways to increase engagement and retention within the ACNL network and hopefully increase memberships along the way.


How We Did It

In a Fall 2023 initiative, 30 ACNL nurses from diverse healthcare settings across the state of California joined a collaborative learning experience in a 12-week Certificate in Nurse Leadership program with Duke CE and OpusVi. 

The Association of California Nurse Leaders Circle of Giving distributed partial scholarships to all participants underscoring their commitment to advancing nursing excellence and ensuring that quality education is accessible to nurses statewide. Nurses across this wide-ranging group came from SutterHealth, Commonspirit, Rady's Children's Hospital of San Diego, Stanford Healthcare, Valley Children’s, Memorial Care, Cedars Sinai, UC Davis, Community Regional Medical Center, Sharp, Chico State University and National University. 

In addition to the certificate course programming, OpusVi and ACNL held 3 virtual sessions to discuss the course impact on their professional role and career trajectory. This unique opportunity brought together these dedicated professionals to enhance their skills and knowledge, foster a collaborative environment and become better leaders in their organizations. 





of course graduates are still working or have advanced within their organizations since bringing the course learnings back to their teams


of course graduates would recommend this course to other current/aspiring leaders


of course graduates listed “Coaching for Performance and Development” as a key course takeaway


of course graduates listed “Leading and Managing Change” as a key course takeaway


93% of the course graduates are still working or have advanced within their organizations since bringing the course learnings back to their teams. As a result of this program, ACNL also gained seven new organization members, illustrating the deep interest these nurses have on advancing their careers and leadership skills.

The impact of this course is best detailed by quotes from the learners themselves:

“The ACNL and Certificate in Nurse Leadership program from OpusVi has been a transformative experience for me. It has provided me with the knowledge, skills and confidence to excel as a nursing leader, positively impacting the care we deliver and the well-being of my team.” - Vicky Tilton DNP, MSN, RN, Vice President Patient Care Services & Chief Nursing Officer at Valley Children’s Healthcare.

“This program has already largely impacted my professional journey. I have had the opportunity to workshop opportunities with colleagues and peers to bring back a stronger version to my organization for consideration. I appreciate the approach of the course and the layout, which allows me to learn in sections and at my own pace.” - Samantha Nguyen, BSN, RN, PCCN, SCRN, Caritas Nurse, Interim Patient Care Manager (PCM)- Clinical Trials at Stanford Healthcare


What’s Next:

After the success of this program, ACNL is planning another cohort of the Nurse Leadership certificate course for its members in 2024.


About The Association of California Nurse Leaders (ACNL):

For over 40 years, The Association of California Nurse Leaders has been living its vision of positioning nurse leaders to influence the future of healthcare by developing nurse leaders, advancing the professional practice of nursing, promoting quality and patient safety, and improving the health of California's communities. ACNL members are diverse in their experience and talents. Through this collective strength, nurse leaders can best meet the needs of their organizations, clients and communities, while at the same time, advancing the profession and practice of nursing.



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