CVCC's Dr. Brooke Kistler Chosen by the National League for Nursing for LEAD

Dr. Kistler is one of 24 educators selected by NLN from colleges, universities, and health care institutions across the country.


HICKORY, N.C.—Brooke Kistler, PhD, RN, CNE, Department Head, Nursing at Catawba Valley Community College has been selected through a competitive application process for the National League for Nursing 2024 LEAD program, a yearlong initiative of NLN Leadership Institute in the NLN Center for Transformational Leadership under the direction of Chief Program Officer Janice Brewington, PhD, RN, FAAN.

LEAD, founded in 2011, is designed for nurses in education and practice who have recently been challenged with rapid transition into leadership positions, those already in positions of leadership who want formal leadership development, and others who identify as emerging leaders or have leadership aspirations. 

Dr. Brooke Kistler is the Department Head for Nursing at Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory, NC. Prior to moving into this position, she held Coordinator of Programs at CVCC, where she started an LPN to RN program during the pandemic to meet the needs of clinical partners. Dr. Kistler also expanded the college’s CNA program, critically examining course design to support accelerated and hybrid formats to meet the needs of working students while maintaining retention and quality of performance. Dr. Kistler prides herself on recruitment and retention efforts that have driven the expansion of Health Education programs and increased qualified candidates for the nursing workforce.

Awarded Excellence in Teaching as a novice educator, Dr. Kistler has continued to be recognized by her students and peers with annual nominations. Her doctoral research focuses on the challenges students encounter during their learning that has resulted in two published articles and one manuscript current under review.

“I am immensely proud of Dr. Kistler's acceptance into the prestigious LEAD program,” says Robin Cornett, Dean of Health Education at CVCC. “Her commitment to nursing education is exemplary, and her selection reflects her passion and dedication to advancing our profession.”

The 2024 NLN LEAD group consists of 24 nurse educators chosen from colleges, universities, and health care institutions. This yearlong program represents a significant investment in professional leadership development with participants spending a calendar year engaging in activities to identify personal and professional goals, learning about what makes an effective leader, and strategizing how to retool skill sets and experiences to achieve individual and institutional benchmarks.

“Nurses have been increasingly visible in the transformation of the nation’s health care access and delivery, so it is vital that they have the necessary leadership skills to bring about meaningful, sustainable change,” said NLN Chair Patricia Sharpnack, DNP, RN, CNE, NEA-BC, ANEF, FAAN, Dean and Strawbridge Professor at the Breen School of Nursing and Health Professions at Ursuline College in Ohio. “The National League for Nursing, the leading voice of nursing education, has invested in resources and scholarship to provide this cutting-edge professional development.”

To kick off the program, LEAD participants attended an in-person orientation session at League headquarters in Washington, D.C. The Intensive Leadership Retreat is currently scheduled for June 23-26 in the same location. Additionally, the group will reconvene at the NLN Education Summit—A Daring Proposition: Competency-Based Education, September 18-20 in San Antonio, Texas.

A list of 2024 LEAD participants can be found at

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