Global Nursing Leadership Institute™

9 August 2021 - 30 June 2022

GNLI 2021 Programme

Nurses from around the world will be selected as GNLI 2021 scholars through a competitive process. Successful applicants from high and middle-income countries will be expected to find their own source of funding to attend, while bursaries may be available for those from low-income countries (as per the World Bank classification). All applicants will be required to demonstrate support from their employer, national nursing association or other professional organisation, and professional network.

Working with internationally respected facilitators and speakers, and with access to on-line policy resources and tailor-made materials, GNLI scholars will enjoy opportunities to network with ICN and other global and regional health institutions and leaders. They will develop their competence in strategically influencing policy and enhance their capacity to work for better health outcomes.

Programme Fees

ICN Members1 2,000 CHF (Swiss Francs)2
Non-members 2,400 CHF (Swiss Francs)2
Bursaries Offered to applicants working, living and participating from a low- / lower middle income country as per the World Bank classification. To consult the list click here.

1 – To consult ICN Member’s list click here.
2 – The fees will cover tuition, programme materials, and the use and access of the online educational platform.

Programme overview

Senior nurse leaders everywhere need high-level professional, political and policy leadership skills to operate effectively in challenging policy arenas. Policy and politics determine the health of populations and the state of the nursing profession—present and future. This has become clear during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has shone a light on health disparities and on nurses on the frontlines of care in their nations’ responses to the spread of COVID-19. It is even more essential that nurses help their nations to prepare for future challenges.

Nurse leaders must know how to make distinctive and strategic contributions to shaping, influencing and implementing policy decisions, wherever they work - in government, management, education, advanced practice, research or development, or for a professional association, trade union or nongovernmental organisation.


A. Programme learning tools and methods

GNLI encourages you to focus on your personal and professional development as a necessary foundation to becoming a more effective leader. You will set your own programme goals during Module 1, using templates and support documents; review and develop your competencies during Module 2; and create an individual development plan to work on during Module 3 and beyond. You will be asked to identify and work on a real-life project connected to policy in some way, whether in the short-term or long-term, directly or indirectly. In addition, all scholars in each WHO region will develop and work on a policy-related regional project that they identify at the outset of Module 2. This group project will provide you with a regional network of colleagues to continue collaboration beyond GNLI.

GNLI is a blended learning programme through which you engage with experts and colleagues using stimulating and supportive action-learning methods. It is not an academic lecture series, although it introduces concepts and theories where appropriate. It is rooted in evidence, as well as experience.

Synchronous learning sessions (i.e. occurring at the same time) will be conducted via Zoom, an online video conferencing platform. There will be one session per module for all scholars around the world to attend, led by the ICN GNLI Programme Director. The core of the programme will be delivered through smaller regional groups led by ICN GNLI Facilitators in Zoom sessions. These day-long regional sessions will be monthly during Module 1 and biweekly during Module 2. Scholars will present their work in their regions in Module 3 at a shorter Zoom session to which outside guests will be invited, and then in an all-scholar final session at the end of the programme.

You will also be given access to an online learning platform throughout the programme. This provides a repository for all materials, presentations and assignments, as well as communications and collaboration, enabling participants, faculty and ICN administrators to share content, submit assignments and exchange information and ideas.  You will join both platforms for the entire programme and receive guidance on how to use them before Module 1 begins.


B. Programme Content

Online preparation (9-13 August 2021)

This is to prepare scholars ensuring a reliable internet connection, access to Zoom and the e-learning platform. You will be oriented on the use of both platforms.

Module 1: (September – December 2021)

Save the dates
Joint virtual two-hour session, followed by an online meet & greet: 14 September 2021
Regional virtual two-hour Session: 15-16 September 2021
Monthly regional virtual two-hour sessions in October, November and December 2021 with dates and times set by each region.
Monthly virtual meet & greets

The aims of this Module are to orient you to GNLI to enable you to get the most out of the programme; meet the programme co-directors, your GNLI regional facilitators, and each other; become familiar with key concepts and information; refine your personal goals; begin work on your individual project plan; and prepare for Module 2. You will be required to complete 11 assignments, some to be submitted by specific deadlines.  The assignments including identifying a mentor who is a leader with policy experience.

Module 2: (18 January – 17 March 2022)

Save the dates
Joint virtual two-hour session: 18 January 2022
Five regional virtual whole-day sessions:

  • 19-20 January 2022
  • 2-3 February 2022
  • 16-17 February 2022
  • 2-3 March 2022
  • 16-17 March 2022

This Module provides the intensive, interactive learning experiences that are the core of GNLI. It includes discussions of the policy process and its political context; strategies for evidence-based policy change in a global context; the role of nurses in leading regional and global health and social policy; and effective strategic communication skills for leaders including framing, messaging and use of media. These sessions require 1 to 4 hours of preparation, including reviewing videos produced to support this programme. Module 3: (17 March to 30 June 2022) Save the dates: Joint virtual two-hour session: 21 June 2022 Regional virtual presentations will be held and dates are to be booked depending on the region. This Module is the capstone of the programme. It provides scholars with the time to finalize their individual and regional project plans. These plans will be presented, firstly, in the scholar’s region in a virtual session to which other global, regional and national leaders will be invited; and lastly, at an all-scholar final session. The regional projects provide scholars with an opportunity to think strategically about an initiative that is aligned with the WHO region’s priorities. Implementation of the projects after Module 3 may result in publication and presentations in national, regional and global forums.


C. Expected Programme Outcomes

Over a nine-month period, GNLI 2021 will help you to become more effective in bringing about policy changes that can improve the health and wellbeing of local communities, regions and nations. By completing the three modules, you will be able to:

  • Shape, develop, support and drive evidence-based health and social policy
  • Undertake stakeholder analyses and political environmental analyses in order to influence definition of problems, building of coalitions and framing of solutions
  • Use political, strategic and advocacy skills to work effectively with policy stakeholders, including politicians and government officials, other health system leaders, and international and nongovernmental organisations
  • Review and frame the evidence base in local, national and international political, health and social care contexts
  • Create and strategically communicate clear policy messages that appeal to politicians, policy-makers and the public
  • Participate in a network of regional and global nurse leaders in policy

These expected outcomes are based on an ICN framework that defines 20 domains in which nurse leaders need to be competent for effective policy leadership. You will be asked to assess your competencies in these domains at the beginning of the programme. They are: vision and being strategic; external awareness; customer focus; political skills; policy skills; motivation; confidence and trust; influence and negotiation; creative and analytical thinking; accountability; interpersonal relationships; team-building; networks, partnerships, alliances; oral communication; written communication; self-direction; decisiveness; problem-solving; managing change; and preparing future leaders.


Important to Consider

It is mandatory to participate in all the sessions and deliver the work described on the Programme Overview. At the end of the programme you will be granted with:

  • Certificate of Completion and a GNLI pin
  • International Continuing Education Credits (ICNECs) 
  • Access to the GNLI Alumni Network group on Facebook
  • Access to an exclusive GNLI Alumni Event during the ICN Congresses every two years
  • Opportunity to apply for GNLI Facilitator training

All applicants who are invited to be GNLI 2021 Scholars will be required to sign a letter of commitment and procure a letter of support from their employers for release time for all programme dates.


If you have any questions about GNLI 2021, contact us here