As a minority organization in the United States, the National Association of Indian Nurses of America (NAINA) represents first generation immigrant nurses, second generation nurses, and students of Indian heritage. Currently, NAINA stands strong with 14 chapters all over the U.S. and an approximate membership of 2,000 nurses of Indian heritage.

NAINA advocates diversity in health care leadership and aims to increase the representation of Indian nurses in leadership roles in the health care system. NAINA also recognizes the urgent need to mentor nurses who aspire to be leaders to develop leadership skills that will enable them to play a critical role in transforming health care.

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation works with partners around the world to foster programs that develop environmental conservation, patient care, and science. The Betty Moore Lecture series is one such initiative to develop areas of patient care. NAINA is proud to partner with this prestigious foundation to launch its own leadership development program.

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation grant will support the Aspiring Leaders Development (ALD) program to develop and implement a transformational leadership program for a cohort of aspiring nurse leaders of Indian heritage that draws upon their strong heritage, focuses on individual leadership development, and furthers their mission.

The ALD program integrates the Betty Irene Moore Speaker Series, “Lessons in Nursing Leadership,” within the curriculum. The learning activities are also designed to develop leadership qualities described by leadership experts Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner (2012). According to these leadership experts, transformational leadership, a concept first introduced by James MacGregor Burns (1978), encompasses behaviors that are teachable and can be learned. Kouzes and Posner (2012) thus describe transformational leadership as consisting of five core practices: modeling, inspiring, challenging, enabling, and encouraging. The focus of NAINA’s ALD program is to help aspiring nurse leaders to assess and improve these five core leadership practices through a customized and systematic curriculum using interactive and experiential learning activities.

NAINA’s commitment is to develop leadership skills in aspiring Indian nurses and establish a formal leadership development program that develops nurses from under-represented backgrounds of Indian heritage. We hope to build on the train the trainee model to foster the growth of aspiring nurse leaders. The first cohort of aspiring nurse leaders will be trained in leadership skills to mentor other aspiring nurses. NAINA’s existing team of nurse leaders will continue to support and mentor the initial cohort of aspiring nurse leaders as they begin their journey as nurse leaders. We hope to continue this trend over the following years to make a noticeable impact to increase the number of Indian nurse leaders within the health care system with the ultimate goal to improve health care outcomes.

To learn more about the ALD program, visit www.nainausa.com.

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