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Creating an infrastructure for aspiring nurse leaders

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So here’s the ongoing challenge to NHS trusts: how do we recruit and retain the next generation of clinical and clinical/academic leaders, while ensuring their development remains at the bedside?

At Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, we are piloting a new band 5 staff nurse/ODP post to help understand this more.

These are called ‘Chief Nurse Excellence in Care Junior Fellows’ and are allocated 0.2 WTE to undertake a supported innovation project on behalf of Mandie Sunderland, our chief nurse.

In addition, they will have a bespoke mentorship programme, including opportunities to shadow Mandie Sunderland and other senior leaders to gain a broad view of how decisions are influenced within the NHS.

I’m delighted to have taken part in the first round of interviews for our posts within Cancer and Associated Specialties (CAS) Division, and have been inspired by the quality of applications from newly qualified and more experienced band 5 nurses.

“I have been inspired by the quality of applications from newly qualified and more experienced band 5 nurses”

Our first post-holder will be working alongside leaders in CAS and the corporate nursing team to support the roll out of shared governance within the division.

This has been identified as a priority by the divisional lead nurse Lesley Reilly and deputy divisional nurse Sue Chisholm, who are leading the way in supporting these new roles within the trust.

Shared governance is our model of leadership, previously outlined in Nursing Times by Kerry Taylor, whereby collective ownership aimed at developing and improving practice is brought more consistently to the bedside.

Lesley Reilly, division lead nurse for CAS, sums this up nicely:

“I am delighted to offer this fabulous opportunity within the Cancer and Associated Specialties Division and excited to see the outputs both for the individual and the contribution to the division’s strategy to provide excellence in nursing care.

”The Chief Nurse Excellence in Care Junior Fellow is tasked, through their research, to provide us with an understanding of the effectiveness of the division’s shared governance programme and identify next steps for development.

“Chief nurse, Mandie Sunderland, has enabled protected time for nurses to concentrate on research at Nottingham University Hospitals - research is an important aspect of being a registered nurse and this can only benefit patients. In addition the support from Dr Joanne Cooper, who has extensive experience in research, will ensure that the junior fellow has the foundation for a successful career in research and driving evidence based practice”.

”I hope that their blogs and the information they share will inspire other organisations to explore bedside leadership roles in a similar way”

With our first Chief Nurse Excellence in Care Junior Fellow appointed, we look forward to appointing others to each division over the next few months.

We will be tracking their progress and impact for the individual, their project focus and what leadership development looks like for our next generation of nursing leaders.

Thank you to Nursing Times for agreeing to follow their progress too, and I hope that their blogs and the information they share will inspire other organisations to explore bedside leadership roles in a similar way.

Dr Joanne Cooper, Head of Nursing & Midwifery Research, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust

 

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