Coldiron Cohorts: As One Group of Fellows Ends Its Journey, Another Begins

Coldiron Fellows Cohort 3 Group Photo

Although their program’s home base is the Marian K. Shaughnessy Nurse Leadership Academy at Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Coldiron Senior Nurse Executive Fellows met thousands of miles away in Palm Springs, California, in January.

Launched two years ago, the Coldiron program is designed to empower executive nurse leaders to make healthcare more patient-centered, cost-effective, accessible and quality driven. It draws aspiring nurse leaders from around the world, and includes five in-person, multi-day sessions presented over a 12-month period that explore executive presence, financial acumen, care coordination, wellness, quality and safety competencies, public communication, and understanding and leading change. 

The fellowship begins and ends in a conference—held this year in Palm Springs with more than 30 in attendance—that features educational sessions and panels, and celebrates the matriculation of one cohort while ushering in the next. 

New fellows in attendance, including K. David Bailey, PhD, RN, chief nursing officer at University of California, Los Angeles, Santa Monica Medical Center, were eager to learn alongside their new peers. Bailey, who applied to the program to gain skills needed to pursue leadership roles, especially enjoyed the opening sessions on strategic development, personal branding and emotional intelligence.

“Each expert provided guidance to enhance my previously learned skills along with new information,” Bailey said. “It provided a new and updated vantage point for my executive leadership practice.”

Later, he watched the outgoing cohort graduate and sought his predecessors’ best advice for a successful fellowship experience. 

One of those graduating fellows was Gloria Lamela Beriones, PhD, RN, who traveled from Houston’s Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center, where she is the staff development coordinator.

The enthusiasm in the room was palpable, recalled Beriones. “I heard a fellow from the new cohort say ‘I’m so excited to start this program!’” 

Beriones, who is also the president of the Philippine Nurses Association of America, said the highlight of the program was working with a professional coach who encouraged her to publish her research; it appeared in Nurse Leader in February. 

The program also helped Beriones expand her network and influence. “It’s an avenue for learning and exchanging thought-provoking questions on one's leadership styles,” she said. “I recommend it to my friends and colleagues across the country.”

To learn more about and apply for the Coldiron program, visit

This article was published in the Summer 2023 issue of Forefront Magazine. To view the digital issue and other stories, visit