Rising Nurse Leaders (RNL) is a two-year part-time program designed to provide frontline nurses with opportunities to acquire essential knowledge, skills, and abilities for ongoing leadership development; to become effective clinical or administrative leaders and shape the future of nursing at UC Davis Health.

Program objectives

Upon completion of the program, the RNL participants will:

  • Develop a leadership style consistent with individual strengths and goals
  • Integrate planning, mentorship, and experiential learning in ongoing professional and leadership development
  • Increase awareness of current professional, practice, and organizational issues relevant to nurse leaders
  • Demonstrate leadership through the facilitation of a change process integrating concepts on best practices, quality/performance improvement methodologies, and project management

Program activities

Program participants will engage in learning activities such as seminars, workshops, coaching, mentorship, and group activities. The program utilizes various instructive and interactive methods to enhance learning and skills development. During the program, the participants will engage actively in completing an individualized professional development plan, leadership portfolio and project. An overview of components are as follows:

The quarterly leadership seminars consist of eight core educational offerings to provide participants with an opportunity to learn leadership concepts, problem-solving, reflection, and skill development.

Leadership forums are conducted every month and co- facilitated by a coach and or a nurse leader. The sessions provide the participants a venue to debrief or discuss specific leadership topics/issues and learn real life leadership strategies.

Participants will be paired with a nursing mentor that complements the individual’s career and learning goals. Mentors may be active or retired UC Davis Health leaders that volunteers to support or assist RNL nurses in their professional development.

Each participant has access to two hours of individual professional leadership coaching offered at no cost by UC Davis Academic and Staff Assistant Program. The coach reviews participant’s individual leadership assessment results and helps participants design a plan that meets short and long term career goals. For appointments, call ASAP (916) 734-2727.

The participants will have an opportunity to partner with mentors to acquire and demonstrate leadership skills by working or developing projects that support institutional goals and priority areas.

While the seminar is designed to build a core competency in leadership, participants may take additional elective courses based on their individual needs. These elective course offerings are open to all UC Davis nursing staff.


The Rising Nurse Leaders program is open to nurses that meet the following qualifications:

  • Each cohort is limited to 20 participants.
  • UC Davis Health career nursing employees (CN II, CN III, AN II) with at least two years of service
  • Demonstrates leadership qualities or potentials and benefit from program activities and learning experiences
  • Motivated, committed, and engaged in learning new perspectives
  • Willingness to contribute to and benefit from program activities, and in improving the quality of care and services at UC Davis Health


Participants agree to engage in all aspects of this 24-month program fully, specifically:

  • Secure managerial approval for planned leave to attend program activities
  • Actively participate in all program activities, including attending quarterly seminars and a minimum of 8 Leadership Forums a year during the program
  • Develop and implement an individualized professional plan
  • Develop a professional portfolio that will provide evidence of learning and competency
  • Participate in leadership projects that support institutional goals or priority areas
  • Participate in program evaluation and research studies if requested
  • Join the alumni network after completing the Institute
  • Complete all the program requirements within 24 months


UC Davis Medical Center Patient Care Services sponsorships of participants cover the majority of the course cost, which includes educational materials, seminars, and other learning experiences. Participants may use available professional leave with the approval of their manager for program activities.

Application procedures

Thank you for your interest in the Rising Nurse Leaders program! The application period for 2017 has ended. The next application period will start around spring 2018. Please frequently visit our website or First Tuesday for further announcements.

Program coordinator

Joel Mallari, D.N.P., R.N., C.N.S.
Professional Development Specialist


For questions about the Rising Nurse Leaders program, please contact the program coordinator by e-mail at jcmallari@ucdavis.edu.