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Ready to Lead: FirstHealth Honors Nursing Leadership Academy Graduates

| Date Posted: 6/26/2020

Left to right: Alexandra Morrison, Bralen Allen, Tarrah Taylor, Amy Logwood,
LeighAnna Deberry,
Mandie Scott, Sarah McAuley, Natalie Schrenker
and Kelly Goforth. Not pictured: Dana Killilea.


PINEHURST, NC – FirstHealth of the Carolinas has announced its 2020 Nursing Leadership Academy graduates.


Alexandra Morrison, Bralen Allen, Tarrah Taylor, Amy Logwood, LeighAnna Deberry, Mandie Scott, Sarah McAuley, Natalie Schrenker, Kelly Goforth and Dana Killilea all completed the year-long program that is designed by FirstHealth nursing leaders to prepare charge/staff nurses for leadership roles.


“Health care is increasingly complex, especially for frontline nurse manager, so we use our Nursing Leadership Academy as a way to develop a succession plan for nurse managers,” Deana Kearns, MSN, R.N., administrative director for clinical practice and corporate education at FirstHealth. “We provide basic leadership, knowledge, skills and abilities vital in these key roles within our system.”


The academy provides instruction on topics such as transformational leadership, managing fiscal and human resources, leading during change, and quality.  These topics are presented over five classroom days throughout the program.


Participants also complete a leadership project with a poster presentation.  Homework is assigned prior to each session and nurses work with a mentor to discuss practical applications of classroom presentations. 


Applicants for the academy are required to have a bachelor’s degree in nursing (completed or currently enrolled), a minimum of two years of clinical experience and a letter of recommendation from their director. In addition, the applicants undergo an interview selection process with current nursing leaders.


“Our academy prepares future nursing leaders, and it ensures that FirstHealth’s nurses will continue to lead the way in helping the system achieve its core purpose – To Care For People,” Kearns said.


For more information on nursing programs at FirstHealth of the Carolinas, visit


The Nursing Leadership Academy is funded in part by community philanthropic support through the Nursing Enrichment Program of the Foundation of FirstHealth.

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