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ANA-MI Empowered Leader Virtual Series
January 16 - April 9, 2024

Register Here

The ANA-MI Empowered Leader Series (ELS) is designed for nurses interested in and/or involved in leadership to explore evidence-based practices with leadership experts as well as to learn how to apply practical leadership strategies within their teams. Through the ELS participants will have opportunities for self-assessment and self-reflection with highly interactive groups sessions built with a focus on challenging and realistic work situations on critical healthcare topics. Through the ELS series of seven virtual sessions, each cohort will be equipped with the knowledge, skills, and competencies needed to lead effectively in the challenging times that healthcare faces.

The Empowered Leader Series is designed for all levels of nursing leaders from all practice areas throughout the continuum of care. Groups of leaders from the same organization are encouraged to attend this seven-week, virtual leadership series.

Hosted By:

In Collaboration with:


Why Participate?

As an ELS participant, you will:

  • Become a member of an ELS Cohort.
  • Develop your personal strengths, identify, and strengthen your leadership competencies and develop an individualized plan for continued leadership development.
  • Participate with national and regional leaders in core leadership sessions.
  • Apply selected concepts of nursing leadership to daily practice.
  • Prepare yourself to assume new roles and programs as healthcare systems evolve.
  • Build leadership capacity within your practice and your organization.

The Program Includes:

  • Seven virtual two-hour facilitated sessions with national, and regional content experts.
  • Tools, assessments, and materials for content understanding and application. 
  • Reading Material: Emotional Intelligence 2.0 will be shipped directly to your address 2 weeks prior to the first course date
  • Opportunity to be recognized at the Annual ANA-MI Conference as an ELS graduate.
  • An Application for 14 Continuing Nursing Education (CNE) contact hours has been submitted to the Wisconsin Nurses Association and is awaiting approval.
  • ANA-MI ELS Micro-Credential certificate of completion


Group Rate10% group discount for 4 or more registrants from one hospital 


ANA-MI Member


INA, ONA, or TNA Member (Code:EMPOWERED2024)



Empowered Leaders Facilitator

Kari Szczechowski, DNP, RN, PCCN-K

Dr. Szczechowski is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Michigan School of Nursing and a Staff Specialist working with the Chief Nursing Officer at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital. She completed her Doctor of Nursing Practice at the University of Michigan focused on improving the unit climate for evidence-based practice by focusing on leadership training and mentoring.

Dr. Szczechowski has over 27 years of progressive nursing leadership and clinical responsibilities. In her various roles at the unit, hospital, and organizational levels, she has led organizational strategies to build infrastructures supporting clinical quality, safety, and operational effectiveness to elevate nursing practice.

Leading her previous organization to its first ANCC Magnet Designation, Dr. Szczechowski’s passion is focused on implementing evidence-based practice initiatives using shared decision-making models to provide nurses at all levels, with the knowledge and skills necessary to positively impact clinical outcomes.

Dr. Szczechowski is a member of the ANA-Michigan Nursing Practice Committee, the World Medical Relief Advisory Board, the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, the American Organization of Nursing Leadership, and Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society–Rho Chapter, among others.

Empowered Leaders Subject Matter Experts

Barb Medvec, DNP, RN, NEA-BC

Dr. Barbara R. Medvec DNP RN NEA-BC, is an Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan School of Nursing and prior senior healthcare executive and System Chief Nursing Executive. She has a history of success in leading and coaching teams for transformational organizational success in both large multi-hospital, ambulatory care practices, and moderate sized healthcare and nursing organizations. Dr. Medvec’s scholarship and practice focuses on nursing workforce, practice environments, innovation extended reality/virtual simulation, workforce wellness and vitality, strategic planning, and quality/safety improvements. She has served on a variety of national, state and local organizations and currently is the President-Elect for the ANA-Michigan nursing association.

Bridget Leonard, DNP, MBA-HCM, RN, CRRN, NEA-BC

Dr. Bridget Leonard DNP, MBA-HCM, RN, CRRN, NEA-BC is an award winning nursing leader with over 25 years of executive level leadership experience. Her transparency, courage, and passion for nursing empowers everyone. From her roles in nursing from CNA to CNO, she tailors her efforts to helping people reach their highest potential through mentoring and professional development. As President of ANA-MI, Nursing Professor and Life Skills Coach she is committed to helping people identify their strategic goals, tear down potential barriers, and develop strategies to make their dreams a reality.

She is dedicated to improve nursing practice in all settings, increase nursing recognition and professional advancement opportunities. She is ardent about motivating the masses, team building, advocacy, and engagement. Dr. Bridget is sure to leave a mark on the hearts and minds of others through her passion for nursing and her wish for everyone to Be Powerful On Purpose.

Nicole Figueroa, MSN, RN, AHN-BC, HWNC-BC

Nurse Leader for Well-Being and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Michigan Medicine-University of Michigan

Nicole Figueroa, MSN, RN, AHN-BC, HWNC-BC is the Nurse Leader for Well-Being and Diversity Equity and Inclusion at Michigan Medicine Health System. Nicole received her BSN from the University of Detroit Mercy, and received her Masters of Science in Nursing with the concentration of Advanced Holistic Nursing from Florida Atlantic University. Previous to starting her current role, her career was spent as a child psychiatric nurse and the Clinical Director of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric unit at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. Her work has included education of nurses on clinical presence and reflective practice, particularly with patients and families who are struggling emotionally during their hospitalizations. She is passionate about creating system-wide approaches that support bold and inclusive work environments where people from all backgrounds feel welcome, along with prioritizing and reducing stigma around mental health needs for nurses. Nicole believes that through educating nurses on how to support themselves around the emotional parts of the work, we can create a health system where health care providers can flourish and subsequently our patients and families can truly heal.

Linda Keilman, DNP, MSN, GNP-BC, DEGN, FAANP

Dr. Linda Keilman has been a nationally certified Gerontological Nurse Practitioner since 1989 with most of her practice in long-term care concentrating on neurocognitive disorders, specifically dementia with behaviors, and end-of-life care. Linda has taught nursing since 1983 and has been an Associate Professor and Gerontology Population Content Expert at Michigan State University College of Nursing since 1992. Prior to specializing in nursing, Linda was an elementary school educator with degrees in education and religion. Linda is a Fellow in the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and a Distinguished Educator of Gerontological Nursing from the National Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence. She is editor-in-chief of Elsevier’s annual journal, Advances in Family Practice Nursing. Linda has a rich four-plus-decades background in DEI, justice and belonging and is a facilitator for Racial Healing and Restorative Justice Circles. Linda sits on the DEI committees of three national healthcare boards and is a frequent speaker on the topic. She is a deeply engaged JEDI warrior and ally!


Dr. Maria Bobo is a highly accomplished and dedicated healthcare professional as a Registered Nurse for over 27 years. She holds a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree, is board-certified as a Women's Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP-BC), Nursing Professional Development and Certified Executive in Nursing Practice (CENP). With over 117 years of experience in progressive leadership roles, she has lead and achieved Magnet® status at three hospitals in Michigan, demonstrating her commitment to excellence in nursing.

In her current role as the Director of Professional Development & Education/Magnet Program Director at the University of Michigan Health, Dr. Bobo oversees new hire onboarding, clinical education, leadership development, and the Magnet® Recognition Program for a 1000-bed, Magnet® designated academic teaching hospital. Her responsibilities include managing nursing continuing education, fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, and serving as an Clinical Adjunct Faculty at the University of Michigan School of Nursing.

Dr. Bobo's extensive expertise in quality management, interdisciplinary collaboration, research, and evidence-based nursing practice, combined with her commitment to professional development, has earned her recognition, including the She has received several awards recognizing her professional success, including Oakland University’s Nightingale Award, Michigan Chronicle's Women of Excellence Inductee, Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan Leadership of the Year Award, Sigma Theta Tau-Rho Chapter Leadership Award, and Institute for Professional Nursing Leadership Award.  She continues to make significant contributions to the nursing community through her involvement in professional organizations, mentoring and her dedication to fostering diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in healthcare.

Course Overview

Week Event Additional Actions

Week 1

January 16, 2024

ELS Facilitator: Kari Szczechowski, DNP, RN, PCCN-K

Welcome & Intro
Introductions of Members

Name Organization, Role,
Sector, Icebreaker Question guilty pleasure

Leadership Pillars Introduction
Pillar 1: Becoming a Leader
Pillar 2: Leading People
Pillar 3: Leading Collaboratively
Pillar 4: Leading Change

Vision of the Future of the Profession and Realities of Leadership - Bridget Leonard, DNP, MBA-HCM, RN, CRRN, NEA-BC

Emotional Intelligence & Group Discussion - Kari Szczechowski, DNP, RN, PCCN-K & Barb Medvec, DNP, RN, NEA-BC

FORUM Discussion Breakouts

Pre-Homework: Emotional Intelligence 2.0 – assessment included

Materials will be mailed to registrants 2 weeks prior

Week 2

January 30, 2024

ELS Facilitator: Kari Szczechowski, DNP, RN, PCCN-K

Pillar 1 - Myths and Realities on Becoming a Leader

Pillar 2 - Leading People Introduction
Recruiting New Team Members
Onboarding New Team Members
Team Dynamics and Culture - Kari Szczechowski, DNP, RN, PCCN-K
DEI/Implicit Bias - Linda Keilman DNP, MSN, RN, GNP-BC, FAANP

FORUM Discussion Breakouts

Pre-Homework: Pillar 1 – Becoming a Leader

Week 3

February 13, 2024

ELS Facilitator: Kari Szczechowski, DNP, RN, PCCN-K

Check-In & Questions
Career Mapping Worksheet review
Creating Executive Presence
Leading through Conflict/Difficult Conversations
Interactive Breakouts - CONFLICT - Nicole Figueora RN, MSN, AHN-BC, HWNC-BC
FORUM Discussion

Pre-Homework: Effective Communication

Career Mapping Worksheet Explained Participants are sent a Career Mapping Worksheet to complete prior to Week 3 Participants are asked to send questions for the Career Panel in advance

Week 4

February 27, 2024

ELS Facilitator: Kari Szczechowski, DNP, RN, PCCN-K

Pivoting in Your Nursing Career
Industry representatives were selected from the following areas:

  • Acute care hospital/system setting (bedside)
  • Acute care hospital/system setting leadership.
  • Long-term care nursing
  • Physician groups and clinics
  • Urgent care/emergency Services
  • Behavioral Health
  • Home Health Services
  • Academic

Breakouts with Career Panelists

Pre-Homework: Building Effective Nursing Teams and Being a Strong Team Member

Week 5

March 12, 2024

ELS Facilitator: Kari Szczechowski, DNP, RN, PCCN-K

Pillar 4 - Leading Collaboratively in Nursing

  • Delegation
  • Trust
  • Leading with Compassion

Collaboration Case Study

FORUM Discussion

Pre-Homework: Pillar 3 – Leading Collaboratively

Week 6

March 26, 2024

ELS Facilitator: Kari Szczechowski, DNP, RN, PCCN-K

No Margin, No Mission Facts on Finance

  • Value-Based Purchasing
  • Budgets,
  • Financial Statements & Planning
  • Developing a business plan

Case for Financial Competency

FORUM Discussion

Pre-Homework: No Margin/No Mission Financial Facts

Week 7

April 9, 2024

ELS Facilitator: Kari Szczechowski, DNP, RN, PCCN-K

Pillar 5 - Leading Change Discussion and Case Study

  • Leading Change
  • Project Management
  • Quality and Safety

Final Forum Activity

Program Wrap-Up

Pre-Homework: Pillar 4 Change Leading through Advocacy and Policy Change
June 6-7, 2024

2024 ANA-MI Conference

Empowered Leader Series Recognition with ANA Board & Sponsoring Organizations


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