Being part of igniting positive change in healthcare

My name’s Chloe, I’m a 23 year old staff nurse working within Cardiff and Vale University Health Board. I qualified almost two years ago and I’ve recently been granted the opportunity to be one of the first Academy Fellows with Florence Nightingale Foundation!

I was inspired to become a nurse witnessing the care and compassion provided by nurses to my grandfather during his deterioration of health due to cancer. I applied for this new Fellows programme due to a wish to empower myself, other Early Careers’ nurses and midwives, as well as students within healthcare, to be authentic leaders from our point of entry into the stimulating, and sometimes nerve-wracking, life of ever-changing healthcare.

Now I’m so excited to see what develops over the next twelve months as I embark on this leadership journey.

I have hopes to improve my own self-confidence both personally and professionally and to be part of igniting the positive change in healthcare agendas where psychological safety is at the forefront of all organisations.

I’d also love to be part of a positive change in hopes of dismantling ideations of a healthcare hierarchy to create a more collaborative communication structure amongst all disciplines within the organisation, regardless of role, band and experience. Improving support for students and junior members of the wider multidisciplinary team who feel they need to speak out, without being judged or simply ignored.

Flash – forward to the first meeting I had with the rest of my Academy Fellows within Cardiff and Vale. I didn’t know what to expect and had heightened levels of anxiety surrounding networking and socialising with others who are a higher band and offer more of experience than myself. However I was instantly made to feel welcomed by other Fellows, learning about all individuals’ roles within the health service.

Then there was the FNF Academy Members’ Symposium in September. There were many highlights and I realised that my wishes aren’t silly expectations to have.

I was given the chance to meet and communicate with a wealth of experienced nurses and midwives about their own journey through healthcare and listen to how passionate they were about their careers. I was able to empathise with others’ exposure and collectively identify where the change in healthcare is needed.

Empowering conversations were held about how we can improve student support, Late Careers retention and digital aspirations. Learning about Shared Governance was another highlight, thank you to Shona and her team for their insight, inspiring myself and other Academy Fellows I met to suggest shared governance councils in our own place of work. Listening and engaging with individuals on our views of what qualities an authentic leader has was a definite key – takeaway plus awareness raised about the amount of waste the NHS creates was a sure eye – opener. Definitely can’t forget exploring the beautiful Birmingham Botanical Gardens where the event was held, including paying a visit to the parrots and cockatiels in their respected homes!

My day at the Members’ Symposium overall will be a highlight of my career to this day. I look forward to embracing this journey as I learn about reverse mentoring and its positive effects on being a leader.

I have a better idea of what to expect over the next twelve months with a range of study days and online webinars, all at the tips of my fingers. Attending the Florence Nightingale Commemoration Event at Westminster Abbey in May will be another eye – opener and I’m incredibly fortunate to be given access to this on top of everything else this programme delivers. 

FNF is offering a 12-month Fellowship programme to nurses and midwives who are employed at our FNF Academy Member Organisations. We want to close the gap in professional leadership development opportunities across health and social care settings and actively encouraging Chief Nurses to nominate individuals who have not yet embarked upon an opportunity like this previously. Find out more about this and other membership benefits here.