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Leadership scholarships targeted at BME nurses and midwives

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Nurses and midwives from black and minority ethnic backgrounds are being encouraged to apply for scholarships to help them become “future leaders”.

The Florence Nightingale Foundation and chief nursing officer for England Jane Cummings have created scholarships worth up to £15,000 specifically aimed at BME nurses and midwives.

Recipients of the scholarships will undertake a bespoke programme geared to their needs, said the foundation. 

“This is a wonderful opportunity to develop BME nurses and midwives”

Elizabeth Robb

The scholarships are designed to enhance individual leadership skills, define long-term career objectives, and work positively to increase the number of BME nurses and midwives in senior posts.

The foundation noted that the applicant’s organisation is expected to support them and view the individual as capable of being “fast-tracked” to more senior leadership positions.

Professor Elizabeth Robb, chief executive of the foundation, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity to develop BME nurses and midwives to help them maximise their potential and fantastic contribution to health care.”

Ms Cummings added: “A substantial number of our nurses and midwives come from a BME background and the role they play in shaping and supporting the NHS and nursing and midwifery will be enhanced by taking part in the scheme.”

Meanwhile, under new contractual obligations effective from next month, NHS organisations in England will be required to show the progress they have made on improving the representation of black and minority ethnic staff in senior positions.

The new NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard will apply to almost all NHS organisations – excluding those in primary care and small ones that earn less than £200,000 in a year – and is designed to ensure BME workers are treated fairly at work and during recruitment processes.

Recent research has found BME staff are significantly under-represented in senior management positions within the NHS and at trust board level.

A report published last year by Middlesex University research fellow Roger Kline – called The Snowy White Peaks of the NHS – found that in 2012, 1% of NHS chief executives were BME and 16% of the NHS workforce overall.

  • More information on the scholarships is available on the foundations’ website. Applications for 2015-16 can be made until 23 September.
  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • I fully understand and commend the need to increase representation of BME staff in senior healthcare positions within the NHS.

    It does worry me, that this is the only scholarship titled "Chief Nursing Officer England BME Florence Nightingale Foundation Leadership Scholarship".

    As a non BME Nurse, I would envy the opportunity to complete a scholarship with the Chief Nursing Officers title attached to it, as in the medical profession where all of out Medical Collegaues can apply for the National Medical Director's Clinical Fellow Scheme.

    It would be motivating if such a prominent title was attached to scholarships available to all staff - with other means and funding to incentivise staff from BME backgrounds.

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