FNF Early Careers and Students

Below you will find some examples of past and current work we are collaborating on with students and early career professionals.

We also have a Leadership Programme for Early Career Nurses and Midwives, which has been funded by the Sandra Charitable Trust. This opened for applications on Monday 14 August 2023. Find out more here.

Funder: Health Education England South East

Summary: Following the success of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Student Nurse Council, the FNF Policy Unit are leading on a project to establish six multi-professional Student Councils across the South East region of England. There will be one Council per Integrated Care System (ICS) and membership of the Councils include student nurses, midwives, allied health professionals and trainee nursing associates. 

The Student Councils will enable student representation to actively support, inform and influence local strategic discussions within their ICS/STP in relation to the education, learning and quality agendas and allow for the escalation of issues and concerns.  The proposal will provide opportunities for students to engage in the development of education and learning from a student perspective within their locality and enable them to have a voice within relevant projects and developments.

The project is intended to directly support "Our NHS People Promise" as outlined in the People Plan and links to a number of chapters within the plan including "Looking after our people", "Belonging in the NHS", "New ways of working and delivering care" and "Growing for the future".

The FNF Policy Unit will evaluate this project with the following objectives:

  • Explore the set-up of the Councils and what worked (to support other regions to follow suit should they wish).
  • Understand the perceived benefits and challenges of this work for the Student Council Members. 
  • Understand the perceived benefits and challenges for the ICSs.
  • Identify key themes that have arisen from an equalities, diversity and inclusion perspective.

Outcomes: An evaluation report on this project will be published in 2023.

Read more from our Student Councils Programme here.

Practice Partner: North Middlesex University Hospitals NHS Trust

University Partners: City, University of London, University of Hertfordshire, Middlesex University.

Summary: The Florence Nightingale Foundation (FNF) in collaboration with North Middlesex University Hospitals NHS Trust (NMUH) launched a pilot student leadership programme for nine student nurses and midwives. Supported by City University of London, the University of Hertfordshire and Middlesex University, the successful nine student leaders have embarked on a practice based bespoke leadership programme which includes mentorship from NMUH FNF Scholars. It will equip them with the skills and knowledge to tackle real workplace issues while having a deeper understanding of themselves and their impact on patient care.

This development is a commitment and a proactive response to a prompt from a challenge, from Chief Nursing Officer Ruth May, when she asked us: ‘look after our young nurses & midwives’.

Outcomes: All nine students are required to identify and deliver a presentation on a quality improvement project proposal which will improve patient outcomes, with the support of their mentor. This enables them to reflect on nursing and midwifery practice and embrace their ideas for improvement, to ameliorate or even generate new knowledge, by those nursing students, closest to patients, on the front line. It also encourages students to have a voice and use their leadership skills and ideas to impact directly on health and social care outcomes early on in their careers.

The team are committed to sharing learning and plan to make this a sustainable programme and opportunity for more student nurses and midwives. The programme has already been reported on in the Nursing Times and featured in an article on student leadership opportunities from the Nursing Standard.

The FNF Policy Unit will undertake a longitudinal mixed methods evaluation to explore the experience of this early career leadership intervention and impact over time. This will include the administration of the FNF Leadership Impact Scale which measures self-efficacy, career progression and perceived leadership competence over time and a series of qualitative longitudinal case studies.

Every year we hold our #FNFStudents Day, bringing together a select number of nursing and midwifery students for a day packed full of networking and learning. 

The 2023 students day is sponsored by the University of Derby and hosted at St Bart's Hospital. 100 students will spend the day networking with peers and quizzing established nursing and midwifery leaders. 

Following a unique and memorable day, students will be escorted to St Paul's Cathedral. Here they will join nursing and midwifery leaders from across the four nations of the United Kingdom for our annual Florence Nightingale Commemoration Service. 

Watch this space for reflective accounts from our #FNFStudents and in the meantime check out their social media hashtags #IAmANurseLeader and #IAmAMidwifeLeader.