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Nurse Innovation Fellowship

This ground-breaking, one-year, team-based nursing fellowship for Chief Nursing Officers (CNO), nurse executives, and senior nurse leaders, is focused on powering-up nurse-led innovation and leadership within health systems to drive transformative change in the healthcare work environment so nurses and patients can thrive. Johnson & Johnson’s sponsorship of the fellowship covers all attendance and travel costs for participants. Applications close 2/19.
About the Fellowship
The Johnson & Johnson Nurse Innovation Fellowship, Powered by Penn Nursing and the Wharton School
Applications for the April 2024 – May 2025 program are open now. The hybrid in-person and virtual fellowship will immerse two nurse leaders from 10 different U.S. health systems in principles of human-centered design and design thinking to be applied to real-world, specific challenges faced by their health system.


The innovation curriculum provided by Penn Nursing will be paired with business acumen, change management and strategic leadership skills development through Wharton Executive Education. At the conclusion of the fellowship, fellows will pitch their innovative solutions with the goal of bringing that solution back to their healthcare system to implement.
Applications Close
February 19, 2024
Join a virtual session to learn more about the Fellowship (all times ET)
Fellowship Application Details
  • 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 April 22, 2024 from 11am to 5pm ET, followed by an in-person 5-day Summer Innovation Institute at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA from June 3-7, 2024. 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, in May 21-22, 2025.

    During the fellowship, participants will work on a healthcare 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.

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  • 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 based on the criteria below.

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  • Applicant 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 healthcare innovation
    • Both team members must commit to a full year of structured learning, travel, self-study and project activity including attendance at the 5-day summer institute in person in Philadelphia, PA June 3-7, 2024, the closing event in New Brunswick, NJ May 21-22, 2025, and all virtual sessions. Virtual session dates are April 22, 2024 (kick-off), September 10-11, 2024, November 12-13, 2024 and February 11-12, 2025. Each day of the virtual sessions will last 6 hours from 11am to 5pm ET.
    • We embrace racial, ethnic and gender diversity and encourage applications from candidates with diverse backgrounds

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Program Timeline
  • Applications Open
    1/8/24
  • Applications Close
    2/19/24
  • Selected Fellows Notified
    3/22/24
  • Program Kick-Off (Virtual, 6 hours)
    4/22/24 from 11am-5pm ET
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    Summer Innovation Institute (In-person, 36 hours, Philadelphia, PA @ UPenn Nursing School)
    6/3/24 - 6/7/24
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    Three Virtual Sessions (6 hours per session)
    9/10/24 - 9/11/24
    11/12/24 - 11/13/24
    2/11/25 - 2/12/25
    from 11am-5pm ET
    (the time is subject to change)
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    Final Closing Event (In-Person, New Brunswick, NJ @ Johnson & Johnson World HQ)
    In person 5/21/25 - 5/22/25
Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to participate?

Johnson & Johnson’s sponsorship of the fellowship covers all attendance and travel costs for participants.

Can School of Nursing faculty members apply to the Fellowship?

Unfortunately, no. Given the Fellowship’s goal of trying to maximize positive impact within health systems, the primary applicant must be a Chief Nursing Officer/nurse executive in a hospital or health system, and the secondary applicant must be a senior nurse leader within that same health system. It is always possible that we will reconsider this decision for future cohorts.

Would you consider other combinations of nurse leaders without a CNO?

The combination of senior nurse leaders will depend on the reporting structure within your health system. However, to maximize impact within health systems, the primary applicant must be a Chief Nursing Officer (or nurse executive with an equivalent title) in a hospital or health system. That CNO or equivalent must then choose a senior nurse leader within that same health system, who they will team up with throughout the fellowship.

Does the senior nurse leader have to report directly to the CNO or CNE?

No. The lead applicant (CNO or CNE) can decide who is best within their organization to partner with to define and address a problem within the health system to solve.

How do you define a senior nurse leader? Would a nursing educator (or other position) count as a senior nurse leader?

Different health systems use different titles so it’s hard for us to define by title who would qualify. Our objective is to have a team of two applicants per health system who are senior enough within their health system to be able to effect positive, meaningful change as a result of this Fellowship. The primary applicant should be a CNO or CNE or someone of an equivalent level who can drive change. The secondary applicant would be the person who can best partner (as decided by the primary applicant) with them to define and address a problem in their system. Therefore, the combination of senior nurse leaders will depend on the reporting structure within your health system.

Can applicants from the same health system but different hospitals within that health system apply?

Yes. As long as the two applicants are from the same health system, they can apply.

Can public health systems apply for the Fellowship?

No. Unfortunately the fellowship is limited to health system leaders.

Is it OK to leverage the Fellowship to advance a solution that is already being piloted in the health system?

No. To maximize the benefit and learning offered in this Fellowship, it is best if a solution is not already being piloted. Part of the human-centered design process that is being taught in the Fellowship is how to accurately define the problem and ideate solutions based on insights gained over the course of the fellowship.

How will applicants be notified if they were selected for the program?

All applicants will be notified via email on March 22, 2024, if they were selected for the Fellowship or not.
Applications Close February 19, 2024
Johnson & Johnson Nurse Innovation Fellowship
Meet the 10 teams that form the 2023 Johnson & Johnson Nurse Innovation Fellowship cohort. The teams represent geographically diverse areas across the US, and come from large and small health systems as well as stand-alone hospitals and public health systems in urban and rural locations.
Meet the 2019-2022 Nurse Innovation Fellows
Meet the 12 nurses who formed the 2019-2022 Johnson & Johnson Nurse Innovation Fellowship cohort.
Johnson & Johnson Nurse Innovation Fellowship 2019-22 cohort
Johnson & Johnson has supported the nursing profession for over 125 years because we believe nurses are the backbone of health systems worldwide.
Group of smiling nurses in scrubs holding folders
Group of smiling nurses in scrubs holding folders
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