by Sheryl Marlar

A faculty member in the University of West Georgia’s Tanner Health System School of Nursing (THSSON), Dr. Delene Volkert, RN, CNE, was selected through a competitive application process for the National League for Nursing’s (NLN) yearlong LEAD program, one of three tracks in the NLN Leadership Institute.

Dr. Delene VolkertAs an initiative of the NLN Center for Transformational Leadership, under the direction of Dr. Janice Brewington, RN, FAAN, in its eighth year, LEAD is designed for nurses in both education and practice who have experienced rapid transition into leadership positions or aspire to advance their status as leaders in administration.

The 2019 NLN Leadership Institute cohort is a group of 46 nurse educators and practice leaders chosen from colleges, universities and healthcare institutions around the world. Each program requires a significant time commitment for an entire calendar year. Participants identify personal and professional goals, learn about what makes an effective leader and strategize how to re-tool skill sets and experiences to achieve individual benchmarks.

To that end, everyone receives intensive one-on-one executive coaching, in addition to attending online and live group coaching sessions, conferences and webinars, where they study leadership theory and development that includes case study review.

To kick off the program, all 2019 NLN Leadership Institute participants attended a joint orientation session in February in Washington, D.C., and the LEAD cohort will return in June for the annual NLN Intensive Leadership Retreat.

“To promote diversity among leaders in nursing education, at least 25 percent of program participants in LEAD have been selected from under-represented groups,” said NLN CEO Dr. Beverly Malone, RN, FAAN. “In addition, a key outcome initially identified for the 2019 Leadership Institute’s LEAD program continues to apply – 80 percent of program participants commit to remaining in academic leadership positions following completion of the program.”

Volkert came to UWG in 2016 as an assistant professor. In addition, she currently serves as director of the Ed.D. program. Beginning her nursing career in 2002, Volkert is professionally affiliated with NLN, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and the Georgia Association for Nursing Education. She has also served on several committees at UWG, including the Rules Committee and the Academic Assessment Peer Review committee.

“I feel very fortunate and honored to have been chosen to participate in the prestigious leadership program led by the National League for Nursing,” Volkert said. “This program will provide the opportunity for me to work with nationally respected nursing leaders, in addition to my peers from across the U.S. During the year of the program, I look forward to actively learning more about effective leadership and how I can help develop the profession of nursing and nursing education.”

Dr. Jenny Schuessler, dean for the THSSON, feels Volkert’s appointment to this prestigious institution is a reflection on her accomplishments and potential as a nurse educator.

“It’s a testament to the national reputation of the THSSON as educators of the nurse educator,” Schuessler explained. “I eagerly await the many contributions that I’m sure Volkert will make to nursing and nursing education as a participant of this program.”

Dedicated to excellence in nursing, NLN is the premier organization for nurse faculty and leaders in nursing education, offering faculty development, networking opportunities, testing services, nursing research grants, and public policy initiatives to its 40,000 individual and 1,200 institutional members

For more information about LEAD and other Leadership Institute programs within the NLN Center for Transformational Leadership, please contact Brewington at

Posted on July 5, 2019