We see nursing leadership existing at all levels in nursing...all nurses leading. Nurse executives within academic health environments across Canada will be influencing health policy directions and dialogue within the profession nationally. They will be contributing to the development of a national agenda for nursing practice, education, research and leadership. These nurse executives will lead in a way that makes an invigorating impact on human service in health care environments and they will be dedicated to preparing the nursing leaders of tomorrow. The Academy of Canadian Executive Nurses will connect with the Office of Nursing Policy, Canadian Nurses Association, Canadian Association of University Schools of Nursing, Association of Canadian Academic Health Care Organizations and others to develop position papers regarding key issues such as patient safety, health human resource planning and leadership in the Canadian health care system. Our definition of professional nursing practice, fully integrated with education and research, will be advanced through these endeavours. The end result of a strong individual and collective voice will be improved patient outcomes supported by professional nursing practice in positive practice environments. This paper is intended to stimulate dialogue among nursing leaders in Canada, dislodge us from a long and traditional path, and place us firmly in a new millennium of leadership for the profession and practice of nursing, a style of leadership that is needed, wanted and supported by nurses and the clients we serve. It is the responsibility of those of us who lead in academic health science centres to be courageous for the students we support, the puactitioners we lead and the renewal of the profession. We are the testing ground for nursing research, and need to be the source of innovation for nursing practice. It is incumbent on us to leap forward to engage a new vision of the professional practice of nursing with a reconfigured work design and work environment compatible with the new economy, workplace and workforce.