1. Bellack, Janis P. PhD, RN, FAAN
  2. Morjikian, Robin L. MPA


This article is the second in a 3-part series describing the RWJ Executive Nurse Fellows Program, an advanced leadership program for nurses in senior executive roles who aspire to help lead and shape the US healthcare system of the future. Part 1 (October 2005) described the program, its core leadership competencies, and the primary components. This article discusses the mentor experience that is a cornerstone of the 3-year fellowship program. Fellows are encouraged to have this experience with senior-level executives outside of healthcare in order to broaden their leadership perspectives. Examples of these mentor experiences are described from the viewpoints of both fellows and mentors, including successes, challenges, and lessons learned. Part 3 (February 2006) will explain how fellows are required to create a business plan for their leadership project because it is so important for nurse leaders to offer a strong business case for proceeding with anew initiative, service, or program.