Shine a light

Anne Watkins and Bertha Matunge
Close this search box.

Mary Seacole Leadership Development Programme


The Florence Nightingale Foundation is pleased to partner with The Mary Seacole Trust to provide a leadership development opportunity to nurses, midwives and health visitors who are working to improve health inequalities, particularly in global majority communities. 

This programme is open to all nurses and midwives from a global majority background working within the NHS and independent providers who are contracted to provide NHS services. 

Funded by NHS England, this bespoke development programme will involve undertaking a leadership development programme, which includes a quality improvement (QI) project. The project will focus on enhancing the experience of people from global majority communities accessing health services through addressing health inequalities. Participants will also be allocated a mentor for support and guidance.

Mary Seacole was a British-Jamaican nurse and businesswoman who set up the British Hotel behind the lines during the Crimean War. She displayed compassion, skill and bravery while nursing soldiers during the Crimean War. The programme is intended to celebrate the life of Mary Seacole while underpinning the values by which she lived and worked.

PLEASE NOTE: Places are fully funded by NHS England, however participants will need to fund their own travel to any face-to-face sessions. The programme will consists of two cohorts, and will be implemented in seven days over nine months (with additional days for the QI project) supported by the following leadership development elements:

  • Demonstrate enhanced awareness of how personality preferences influence personal effectiveness and performance in teams.
  • Identify and critically appraise opportunities to influence through personal and collective authority.
  • Develop strategies to express self in a manner which communicates presence, enables influence and has impact.
  • Explore personal resilience and develop tools for staying effective under pressure.
  • Develop own personal approach to leadership – exploring values, biases, blind spots, and attitude to diversity.
  • Formulate and put into practice plans which contribute to improved outcomes for people from the global majority underpinned by evidence and quality improvement methodology.

Read some of the feedback from previous programme participants here.

‘The Mary Seacole Trust are so incredibly proud to be a partner in delivering this wonderfully inspirational programme. It is a pleasure to hear from nurses and midwives who are not just dedicated to self-development and becoming future leaders; they are also change-makers.’ Trevor Sterling, Chair of the Trustees, Mary Seacole Trust

Mentor Allocation

Each of the Mary Seacole Leadership programme participants is allocated a mentor for support and guidance throughout the 9-month programme. FNF asks the programme participant to arrange an initial meeting with their mentor to identify their personal development plan and project objectives, timelines, methods and plans for sustainability and spread.

The mentor may make further suggestions for development and broker introductions that would be useful for the programme participant to make contact with. It should be noted that there is no additional funding for the cost of the project or travel expenses for either the mentor or programme participant.

We ask the mentor to meet with the programme participant bi-monthly for the duration of the programme. This enables the mentor to check and evaluate progress and provide ongoing advice and support.

Once you have completed the programme you will join the FNF alumni community and receive ongoing networking and leadership development opportunities through events, webinars, media engagement and policy thought leadership.


Programme dates and information

Applications Open

5 July 2023

Applications Close

9 October 2023

Welcome Day and Personality Preferences (Virtual)

Cohort One – 27 February 2024

Cohort Two – 4 April 2024


Utilising Myer Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) we will explore how personality preference influences personal leadership styles and how awareness can enable the promotion of high performing teams.

Principles of Quality Improvement (Virtual)

Cohort One – 29 February 2024

Cohort Two – 5 April 2024

In preparation for your Quality Improvement (QI) project: an introduction to QI including approaches to leading change management and measuring impact. 

Presentation of Self: Presence & Impact - Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) (Face to Face)

Cohort One – 8/9 April 2024

Cohort Two – 1/2 May 2024

Practical approaches to developing confidence and clarity in the delivery of key messages for a range of audiences including the media and senior stakeholders.

**London venue. Travel and any accommodation are not funded.

Deepening Your Authority and Impact: The king's Fund (Face to Face)

Cohort One – 7/8 May 2024

Cohort Two – 11/12 June 2024

Development of leadership attributes which enable influence from ward to board. Specific consideration will be given to exploring the leader’s sphere of authority in relation to systems leadership and leading upwards.

** London venue. Travel not funded. Accommodation (one night) will be funded.

Writing for publication (Virtual)

Online module followed by an interactive live Zoom session on one of the dates below. To include: your preferred approach to writing and practically planning to integrate this into your work pattern; the point and purpose of peer review; some of the barriers and setbacks you are pre-empting or have experienced.

Cohort One – 17/19/24/26 June 2024

Cohort Two – 10/11/17/18 July 2024

Quality Improvement Submission (Virtual)

Cohort One – 8 September 2024

Cohort Two – 24 November 2024

Celebration Event (Face to Face)

Cohorts One and Two – 23 January 2025

**London venue. Travel and any accommodation are not funded.

Eligibility Criteria

  • NMC registered nurse, midwife or health visitor.
  • Working in NHS or NHS commissioned services in England.
  • NHS Agenda for Change bands 7 and 8a or equivalent.
  • Have a proposed project to address inequalities in access to health services, including people from global majority backgrounds.

Application Process

The application, shortlisting and selection processes will be administered nationally by the Florence Nightingale Foundation. Application form link here.

What you will need to demonstrate in your application:

  • The outcomes of the proposed project must be designed to address inequalities in access to health services including people from global majority backgrounds.
  • The project must be delivered within a maximum period of 9 months.
  • You must provide a proposal that sets out achievable objectives, methods, outcomes and timescales.
  • A supporting reference for the application.

When applying, you are required to upload the following information:

  • A copy of your NMC registration documentation
  • Signed supporting reference from a senior sponsor (see below to download the form) who is able to support you to attend the programme and undertake the project.

Programme places are fully funded however any associated travel or accommodation must be covered by your employing organisation. Signing of the senior sponsor form is acknowledgement of this statement.

Please note the following:

  • Incomplete applications will not be accepted
  • Applications without Senior Sponsor Nominator Form will not be accepted
  • The Quality Improvement Project must focus on inequalities in healthcare

Senior Sponsor Form

Benefits for You

Participants report the “life changing” leadership experience and its professional and personal impact. Participants report feeling more confident to speak out and influence improvements in patient care and health outcomes.

Programme Details