Professor Gemma Stacey, Director of the FNF Academy, is thrilled that Higher Education Institutions can now become members…
As an early career nurse back in 2004 I was successful in gaining a fixed-term role within a university as a research assistant. I quickly found my love of research and education and the HEI environment was to become the place where my career as a Clinical Academic would be shaped. I was supported to develop as an educator and researcher through training and was privileged to have the opportunity to complete both my PGCHE and my PhD. You may be thinking… “What more could I have asked?”
What was missing for me and for my colleagues was a community which allowed us to maintain meaningful national networks with clinical practice. Our interactions with practice became transactional and were focused on issues like placement capacity and research-site access. They rarely offered the opportunity to genuinely share learning and knowledge on the issues that were most significant to the nursing and midwifery context. Don’t get me wrong, there were benefits to developing as a leader in the HEI setting, with a rich array of multi-disciplinary perspectives. I thrived on the discussions with colleagues from sociology and philosophy for example. However, it was evident that there was a stark contrast between their experience of working within the university setting and mine. I craved the opportunity to be around others who understood the culture I was occupying and the impact of the history of our progression as a profession into the HEI sector.
My vision is that HEI membership of the FNF Academy will bridge that gap. It will provide access to an engaged and motivated network of nurses and midwives from all sectors across the UK. The opportunity to debate, discuss and hear from influential thought leaders will be accessible to all registered and student nurses and midwives in the organisation. Our underpinning principles of leadership at FNF promote the premise that nurses and midwives are leaders at every level and throughout the life span of their careers. Also, that leadership is enacted when the person defines their sphere of influence and steps into their authority. I welcome HEIs to join this powerful and influential network, working across sector boundaries for the benefit of the nursing and midwifery workforce and ultimately to drive clinical excellence.
Find out more about the benefits of becoming a member of the FNF Academy and express an interest in joining.