The Florence Nightingale Foundation (FNF) is committed to furthering Florence Nightingale’s legacy of promoting excellence, leadership and scholarship in nursing practice.
In order to support the development of evidence based nursing and midwifery care, the Foundation worked with a small group of Universities and their partner NHS organisations to create joint clinical professorial roles. In 2018, the arrangements for these roles were harmonised, based on tripartite MOUs for a three year term. Since taking up their roles, the FNF clinical professors have provided invaluable input to the work of the Foundation and to the evolution of its approach to supporting and developing evidence based practice. In particular they have informed its new 5 year strategy and influenced the structure and focus of the recently established FNF Academy.
The FNF Academy now provides the overarching framework for the education, evidence based practice and leadership activities of the Foundation. It has also become a membership organisation, providing support to chief executive nurses in all health and care organisations across the UK and all of their nursing and midwifery staff. The Foundation’s five year strategy emphasises enhanced inclusivity, increased reach and broadened access to its portfolio of programmes and activities. As part of this agenda, the need to evolve, and invest in, a more inclusive approach to promoting evidence based practice was recognised and a decision was made to move away from the previous focus on the current six named FNF clinical roles as their three year term ends. The Clinical Professors have benefited from forming a community of practice to enhance the clinical academic agenda for nursing and midwifery and celebrated with us at our annual Florence Nightingale Commemoration event at Westminster Abbey. In future the Foundation will adopt a more inclusive approach to facilitating and enhancing evidence based nursing and midwifery practice.
This new approach will include the creation of a UK wide forum for clinical professors and aspiring professors with opportunities for any clinical professor to share expertise, inform policy issues, engage in virtual networks and access leadership development and scholarship programmes. Our pioneer cohort of clinical professors will continue to play a pivotal role in ensuring the development of an effective framework which will support senior nurses to build and strengthen an evidence based culture and embed clinical academic career pathways. Their experience will also be invaluable as the Foundation identifies ways of creating more opportunities for clinical professors to benefit and engage with the FNF Academy through, for example, potential associate membership.