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This year instead of our typical Perinatal Leadership Forum in November we are joining together Neonatal and Perinatal Nurse Leaders at our 25th Anniversary Nurse Leadership Forum held in-person in Tucson, AZ. We will have customized track sessions for both groups of nurse leaders.

Synova’s 25th Anniversary Nurse Leadership Forum COVID-19 Policy

All participants including attendees, sponsor representatives, and speakers will be required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 before participating in any conference events and show proof of such vaccination. We will follow the strictest of CDC and local and state health guidelines to ensure safety for all participants this includes social distancing, mask wearing, and temperature taking. Those who are unable to get a vaccine due to medical or religious reasons will be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test, per the timelines in the full policy.

At Synova, we believe in the importance of science, leaders leading by example, and maximizing the health and safety of our participants who will return home to families, colleagues, and the babies and families they serve. For more information on our Health and Safety plan, see the COVID-19 Health and Safety Information page.


Have To Say!

“I am excited to hear about the future of healthcare leadership in a virtual world and what comes next for healthcare as we recover.  I am looking forward to having an expert address strategies on leading through times when our country is extremely divided.”

“My biggest current challenge I am faced with looking forward is supporting the staff emotionally while introducing new changes in the NICU but I know coming together with my peers at a Synova Forum gives me so much access to support, ideas and allows me time to process my own thoughts and strategies as a nurse leader.”

“I was blown away by the 2019 Synova conference which was my first experience with Synova. This type of networking and leadership education has changed my career trajectory and given me the confidence to take steps to succeed in my new position as a VP. I can not wait to be in-person again this November!”

Join MySynova Community


LISTEN * COMMIT * EVOLVE: Redefining Nurse Leadership

In the wake of the astronomical change we have witnessed in our units, hospitals, communities and world, the role of nurse leaders has been redefined. Nurse leaders are being asked to do more now than ever before including being a coach, counselor and constant communicator. The 25th Anniversary Nurse Leadership Forum is our opportunity to come together and rediscover the greatness in ourselves, each other and the nurse leadership community.  Join us as we define the new face of nurse leadership as we:

  • Gain the confidence to step up to new opportunities
  • Develop skill in navigating uncomfortable yet important conversations
  • Deconstruct our understanding of other cultures and demographics and how they impact our work
  • Advance our emotional intelligence to foster the development of our teams

Call For Abstracts

Are you interested in submitting an abstract for a 60 or 20 minute speaking spot, or a poster?


Speaker Lineup

Cy Wakeman

Keynote Speaker

Cy Wakeman, MS, CSP

President and Founder, Reality-Based Leadership

Leading in Uncertain and Transformative Times

This keynote and workshop will honor the professionalism and dedication of your caregivers AND provide strategies to restore commitment to the field, rejuvenate spirits and to mine the Pandemic experience in an intentional way to fuel Post-Traumatic Growth so that all can emerge evolved rather than traumatized from the experiences of the past year.

Featured Speakers

Juliette Blount

Juliette G. Blount, NP

Health Equity NP, LLC Nurse Practitioner/ Health Equity Speaker

What is Race & Why Does it Matter?

Jennifery Deeney

Jennifer Deeney, PgD, MSc, BsC, RN

Head of Neonatal Nursing and Operations Liverpool Women’s Hospital NHS

Building Your Tribe

Diane M. Rogers PCC, CPXP

Diane M. Rogers PCC, CPXP

President, Contagious Change

How You Show Up. . . Matters!

Dr Orsini

Dr. Anthony Orsini, D.O.

Neonatologist, Chief of Patient Experience, Pediatrix Medical Group of Florida, President and Founder of The Orsini Way

Difficult Dialogues: Using Compassionate Communication to Build Relationships

Rose Horton

Rose Horton, MSM, RN, NEA, BC

Specialty Director, Women & Infant Services, Emory Decatur Hospital

How I Got My Groove Back: The Nurse Leaders’ Guide to Resilience

Dena Carey

Dena Carey, BSN, BS

Associate Vice President of Women and Infant Health Services, Virginia Hospital Center

What Right Looks Like: Successfully Rebuilding A Nursing Leadership Team From The Ground Up

Dominic Cottone, MS

Dominic Cottone, MS

Senior Managing Director, Leadership Consulting, Ferguson Partners

Understanding and Managing Chronic Stress


Pre-Conference Events

Lori Armstrong

The Urgency of Engagement: Your Road Map For All Generations (November 14th, HALF DAY – AM)

It is irrefutable that nurse engagement is linked to patient outcomes and the patient experience. Nurse leaders are challenged with adapting their practices to offset current threats to workforce engagement, including an increasingly older patient population, hospital financial well-being, moral distress, and staff shortages. This Pre- Con will provide nurse leaders key leadership competencies and contemporary strategies that will drive engagement and decrease turnover.

At the conclusion of this Pre- Con, participants will be able to:

  • Identify key contemporary strategies of workforce engagement across generations
  • Assess their department/organization’s current state performance in nurse engagement best practices
  • Choose one leadership behavior change they can make that will increase their influence on their teams


Lori Armstrong, DNP, RN NEA-BC, CEO & Chief Clinical Officer, Inspire Nurse Leaders™


$175 USD (or $299 USD with purchase of AM and PM Pre-Conference Sessions)

It’s All in the Delivery (November 14th, HALF DAY – PM)

Through this interactive and fun workshop attendees will learn valuable communication techniques to help them navigate through the most difficult conversations commonly experienced as nurse leaders. Topics include, discussing tragic news, conflict resolution and complex multidisciplinary interactions. Various verbal and non-verbal techniques useful in private and personal life will be discussed and demonstrated.


Dr. Anthony Orsini, D.O., Neonatologist, Chief of Patient Experience, Pediatrix Medical Group of Florida, President and Founder of The Orsini Way


$175 USD (or $299 USD with purchase of AM and PM Pre-Conference Sessions)

25th Anniversary Nurse Leadership Pre Conference
Synova 25th Anniversary Nurse Leadership Forum - New Leader Bootcamp

New Leader Bootcamp (FULL DAY)

This preconference is aimed at leaders with less than 3 years of leadership experience. Participants will get an introduction to finance and budgeting, practice the art of requesting funds, and develop leadership skills like demonstrating vulnerability and promoting personal growth. Additionally, the session will address inclusion and diversity. It is a must for any new leader!


Jodi Coombs, MBA, BSN, RN, Chief Operating Officer, Children’s Mercy Hospital

Joan Rikli, MBA, MSN, RN, CPNP-PC, NE-BC, Executive Director, Women’s and Children’s Service Line, Munson Health Care


$299 USD


Brochure & Agenda




$647 USD Early Bird Registration (Ending September 1, 2021)

$747 USD Regular Registration


$175 USD – Engaging Your Workforce Across all Generations
$175 USD – Its All in The Delivery
(Bundle & Save – Get Both For $299 USD!)

$299 USD – New Leader Bootcamp

25th Anniversary Nurse Leadership Forum


Conference Scholarship

Synova will be granting tuition scholarships for nurse leaders to attend 25th Anniversary Nurse Leadership Forum. The event is open to all NICU and Perinatal nurses in leadership positions. The scholarship application deadline is July 1, 2021. If accepted, you commit to attend the event.

Generous support for the scholarships provided by:

  • Mead Johnson
  • Atom Medical
  • Foundation for Premature Infants
  • Prolacta Bioscience
  • AngelEye
  • DandleLION



Conference Details

  • Who Should Attend?

    • NICU Directors, Managers, Supervisors and members of their leadership teams
    • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Supervisors
    • Perinatal/Labor and Delivery/Mom and Baby Directors, Managers, Supervisors and members of their leadership teams
    • Certified Nurse Midwives
    • Executive Directors of Women’s Services
  • When & Where

    The 25th Anniversary Nurse Leadership Forum will be held at the Westin La Paloma in Tucson, AZ on November 14-18, 2021. Pre-Conferences are on November 14th and the General Sessions will run November 15th- 18th.

  • Program Changes

    Synova reserves the right to make necessary changes in speakers, topics or schedule. The most up-to-date agenda is online.


    The 25th Anniversary Nurse Leadership Forum is approved for approximately 15 contact hours through Abbott Nutrition Health Institute. The pre-conferences will be awarded contact hours depending on the length of the program.


    The 25th Anniversary Nurse Leadership Forum will be held at the Westin La Paloma.

    Westin La Paloma Resort

    3800 East Sunrise Drive

    Tucson, AZ 85718



    The Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa is a AAA Four-Diamond hotel in the middle of the Sonoran Desert. With staggering views of the Santa Catalina Mountains, activate your sense of adventure with a stroll through Sabino Canyon. Our resort balances activity with leisure, offering dynamic work spaces at our full-service business center and five outdoor pools with cabanas, chaise lounge chairs and shimmering waterfalls.

    A limited block of rooms is being held at a special group rate of $179 per night (plus tax). The resort fee is waived. Reservations must be made prior to October 28, 2021; rooms will be available as space allows.


    Tucson International Airport is the closest airport to the conference center. Super shuttle, rental cars, taxis and Ubers are available.