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Johnson & Johnson Nurse Innovation Fellowship Program

The Johnson & Johnson Nurse Innovation Fellowship Program (JJNIF) powered by Penn Nursing and the Wharton School is a ground-breaking, one-year, team-based nursing fellowship (June 2023-May 2024) for Chief Nursing Officers (CNO), nurse executives, and senior nurse leaders. The goal of the fellowship is to advance health care by powering up nurse-led innovation and leadership within health systems.

Program Overview

The JJNIF is designed for innovative nurse executives who have a passion for finding solutions that provide better care for patients and support a workplace environment where nurses can thrive. 

This fellowship is unique in that two nurse leaders – one Chief Nursing Officer or nurse executive and one other senior nurse leader from the same health system organization – participate and work together to address a real-world challenge they are facing in their health system. The program will immerse fellows in the innovation process by focusing on human-centered design and design thinking methodologies and will teach fellows how to apply them to their challenge areas.

The innovation curriculum provided by Penn Nursing will be paired with business acumen and leadership skills development through Wharton Executive Education, including the following topics :

  1. Decision Making for Leaders
  2. Financial Acumen
  3. Strategy Under Uncertainty
  4. Strategic Persuasion
  5. Connected Strategy
  6. Linking Operations and Finance

At the conclusion of the fellowship, fellows will present their innovative solutions, with the goal of bringing that solution back to their health system to implement. 

Through Johnson & Johnson’s sponsorship of the fellowship, all travel and attendance costs for the participants are covered. 

How is the Fellowship structured? 

The JJNIF program is a combination of in-person and virtual sessions, and teams are expected to attend all sessions. The program begins with a virtual half-day kick-off meeting in early June 2023, followed by an in-person 5-day Summer Innovation Institute at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA, from June 26-30, 2023. Following the Summer Innovation Institute, there are three 2-day virtual synchronous sessions (one each quarter) throughout the year and a 2-day in-person closing event at Johnson & Johnson in New Brunswick, NJ, on May 22-23, 2024. 

During the fellowship, participants will work on a health care problem specific to their health system. Teams will leave each session with homework to be completed at their institution in order to move their project forward and to sustain buy-in and support from their institutional leaders and stakeholders. While two-person teams from each health system are required to attend all in-person and virtual sessions, fellows may invite extended team members from their health system who can help them identify the problem and develop their solutions to attend virtual sessions as needed. The program will conclude with a final in-person pitch session where fellows will describe the problem they are addressing and their recommended solution. 

Ten different U.S. health systems will be selected to participate in the upcoming fellowship cohort. 

Application Background 

Ten two-person teams from different health systems across the United States will be selected as fellows through a competitive process using an online application. Each team will be composed of a CNO or nurse executive and a senior nurse leader.   

The application will be submitted by the CNO/nurse executive from a hospital or health system who will serve as the primary applicant. The CNO/nurse executive will choose another senior nurse leader from their hospital or health system to complete the team. Evidence of health system buy-in and support from the Chief Executive Officer is required. 

The fellows will be selected by Penn Nursing. 

Program Timeline 

Applications will be accepted between March 3, 2023, and March 31, 2023. Participants will be selected and notified in May of 2023, and the program will begin in June 2023 and conclude in May 2024. 

Key Fellowship Dates

  • June 5, 2023 (virtual)
  • June 26-31, 2023 (Philadelphia, PA)
  • September 12-13, 2023 (virtual)
  • November 7-8, 2023 (virtual)
  • February 13-14, 2024 (virtual)
  • May 22-23, 2024 (New Brunswick, NJ)

Each virtual session will last approximately 5 hours, tentatively from 11 AM - 4 PM ET (times are subject to change).

Applicant Eligibility Criteria 

Applicants must: 

  • Be a Registered Nurse. 
  • Reside in the U.S. or its territories or Indian Lands of Federally Recognized Tribes of the United States. 
  • The primary applicant will hold the role of Chief Nursing Officer/nurse executive in a hospital or health system and identify a senior nurse leader as the partner on the team. 
  • This is a team-based fellowship; each member of the dyadic team must commit to working together as a part of the JJNIF program. 
  • Have support and buy-in from the executive leadership (e.g., Chief Executive Officer) and c-suite administrators, including a letter of support guaranteeing release time for the in-person and virtual sessions and how they will support the development, implementation, and sustainability of the innovative ideas within the health system. 
  • Must serve at an institution that is agile and committed to being at the forefront of health care innovation. 
  • Both team members must commit to a full year of structured learning, travel, self-study, and project activity, including attendance at the in-person and virtual sessions. See key fellowship dates above.  
  • We embrace racial, ethnic, and gender diversity and encourage applications from candidates with diverse backgrounds. 

To complete the application, please click here.


Apply Now

For more information, join one of our upcoming JJNIF Information Sessions:

Evaluation and Monitoring 

Penn Nursing and the Wharton School will collect evaluation data on an ongoing basis in order for this project to contribute to national efforts to help build and maintain a strong, capable, innovative, and diverse nurse leadership workforce in health and health care. Therefore, the program will have the option to release results from this evaluation publicly. The evaluation team may study the extent to which program outcomes are achieved, as well as the impact fellows have on their work, their organizations, and the health care field as a result of their fellowship experience. These will be studied in aggregate; no specific participant or health system data will be named. 

The intent of the JJNIF program is that successes and lessons learned can be communicated beyond the fellowship cohort. Solution-oriented stories from the JJNIF program will be shared with the larger health care and nursing communities. Participating teams and their associated organizations will participate in sharing their journey in the JJNIF program. 

As a condition of accepting the JJNIF, fellows must participate in the evaluation. Fellow participation includes assisting with necessary data collection to accomplish the evaluation objectives. These data collection efforts may include surveys, interviews, focus groups, and other related activities to help assess and reflect on the continued development of the Fellowship program. Research on the program may occur. 

JJNIF monitors the grantees’ efforts and careful stewardship to assure accountability. We will require Fellows to report on the progress and results of their innovation project work. 

Learn more about Johnson & Johnson’s 125 commitment to the nursing profession here.


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