Background: In 2020, the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic forced the redesign of the Interna-tional Council of Nurses’ (ICN) Global Nursing Leadership Institute (GNLI) that hereto-fore had included an intensive, week-long residential experience in Geneva, Switzerland.
Aim: This paper describes the development, implementation, challenges and prelim-inary outcomes of an approach that regionalized GNLI and delivered it online, while preserving some cross-regional connections among participants.
Results: A virtual approach to a global policy leadership programme cannot replace the richness of an intensive, concentrated residential one, but the redesign of GNLI has given ICN, its member national nursing associations and individual nurse lead-ers previously unexplored opportunities for networking and collaboration aligned with the six WHO regions, and for cross-region networking and discussions of global issues.
Conclusion and implications for nursing and/or health policy: The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has highlighted the need for nursing leadership in policy and practice. A vir-tual approach to leadership development can increase the reach of programmes that seek to build nursing’s capacity to advance health-promoting policies in workplaces, organi-zations and nations.