Dr. Dina Hewett Director of the Nursing Department

Nursing School Director Attends Leadership Program

Elation doesn’t begin to describe how Dina Hewett, Brenau Director of the School of Nursing, felt when she was accepted into the 2016 Cohort of Fellows for the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Executive Leadership Program.

“I about fell over when I got the email that I had been accepted,” says Hewett. “I had applied back in October 2015, and I wasn’t really thinking about it anymore. I was looking at other leadership programs. I got the email in June that I had been selected. To go to Wharton and work with those people was truly amazing.”

Hewett’s application to the program highlighted her experiences in both higher education as well as hospital administration, which made her a perfect fit for the executive leadership program aimed at academic nursing administrators and leaders. The four-day program, Aug. 8-11, took place at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, and classes were taught by the Wharton faculty.

The AACN/Wharton program, now in its fifth year, is one of the most competitive entrepreneurial and leadership programs for nursing professionals in the country. The goals of the training are to provide the concepts and tools needed to enhance leadership; address issues around managing and leading change; equip participants with an advanced set of negotiation, leadership and entrepreneurship; and provide participants with a valuable and ongoing resource network. Hewett feels that this last aspect, the networking opportunities, was one of the most valuable things she took away from the classes.

“The networking was invaluable,” she says. “We all stayed in the same hotel right there at Wharton. We all talked with each other, and we’ll all see each other again at the big ACNN conference in Washington, D.C., later this month. I also have access to all the Wharton resources,and can still network and reach back out to the instructors for any guidance or mentoring.”

Participants included professionals from universities such as Vanderbilt, Duke, Chamberlain, plus military and other private institutions. They were taught by leaders in business and industry, including Cathy Pierson, consultant for major companies such as Coca-Cola, Bank of America, Estee Lauder Co. and the World Bank, and Peter Cappelli, professor of management at Wharton who also works at the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Hewett also got to tour the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, one of the top nursing schools in the nation, where she enjoyed a reception with her fellow cohorts and professors.

It is definitely an experience Hewett won’t soon forget. “It was a very distinguished honor to be part of this program,” she says. “Wharton is the top business school in the world. It’s extremely prestigious. Half the professors that taught our classes, I have read their books. It was an incredible learning experience with many of the icons of nursing.”

Dina Hewett, director of the School of Nursing, listens to an opening speech during the Brenau University School of Nursing Pinning Ceremony on Thursday, May 5, 2016 in Pearce Auditorium in Gainesville, Ga. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)
Dina Hewett, director of the School of Nursing, listens to an opening speech during the Brenau University School of Nursing Pinning Ceremony on Thursday, May 5, 2016 in Pearce Auditorium in Gainesville, Ga. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

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