FNF Scholars Graduation Day

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Greta welcoming the FNF scholars to the conference

Following an inspirational and invigorating day, our Chief Executive Officer Professor Greta Westwood reflects on our 2022 Scholars Conference. 

We were delighted to gather our 2021/22 scholars together for a day of celebration, reflection, and our own FNF Graduation. Every year, to conclude our prestigious scholarships, we host the fantastic nurses and midwives who have embarked upon this unique leadership development journey with the Florence Nightingale Foundation and our partners. This year we welcomed 80 FNF Scholars along with mentors, staff and supporters. 

FNF Scholarships are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for nurses and midwives to develop their career whilst improving clinical and health outcomes. A significant number of scholars are promoted into senior roles following their scholarship with 95% identifying that the scholarship had a positive impact on their career. But the real magic with FNF Scholarships is the access to a network of like-minded nurses and midwives locally, nationally and soon globally. A reminder that applications for our next cohort of FNF Scholars closes on 21 October, if you or your colleagues have not submitted your application yet, then this is your sign to do so! 

We were thrilled to have the support of all five Chief Nursing Officers for the UK and Ireland. Dame Ruth May, Sue Tranka and Rachel Kenna are FNF Alumnae and understand personally the impact of FNF Scholarships. We were joined in person by Dame Ruth May who delivered a heartfelt speech including her reflection that she would not be the CNO without the support of her FNF Scholarship. Ruth’s speech was reported in the Nursing Times, you can read more here. Recordings from Alex McMahon (CNO Scotland), Maria McIlgorm (CNO Northern Ireland), and Rachel Kenna (CNO Ireland) were shared with attendees – you can watch these on our YouTube channel here. Sue Tranka, CNO Wales and also a 2021 scholar was due to join us in person but was unwell, wishing you a speedy recovery Sue from all at FNF – you were missed by us all.  

FNF thrives on partnerships and collaborations and our Scholars Conference is no different. Sincere thanks to the Elsevier team who were not only our sponsor but provided our keynote speaker discussing ‘The Clinician of the Future’.  Nuffield Health, also a FNF Partner and sponsor, provided the evidence why a greener way is the business of every nurse and midwife and collectively will begin to make a difference to planetary health. 

All FNF Scholars shone a light on their excellent scholarship work and the impact they are making on not only patient and health outcomes but also the professions. Myself and my whole team were blown away by the work of this incredible group of nursing and midwifery leaders.   

It was a pleasure to be joined by FNF Trustee, Professor Laura Serrant who received a standing ovation following a recital of her poem ‘You called… and we came’ and then presented each scholar with their alumni badge during the official graduation ceremony. 

I am so proud of the work of the Foundation; we inspire nurses and midwives everyday to be their best.  The energy in the room all day was fabulous, never forget that energy – embrace it, help us find the next FNF Scholars: your legacy. You are now FNF alumni, you could be a champion too. We hope to see many more FNF Alumni Champions. See you at Westminster Abbey for the 2023 Florence Nightingale Commemoration Service on 12 May 2023 at 18.30! 

You can catch up with the full activities of the day by following our hashtag #FNFScholarsConference on Twitter and Instagram. Look out for the full Conference report soon.

Some of the FNF scholars celebrating their graduation!