Learning Disability Nurse Leadership Programme

A leadership programme to improve the leadership potential of nurses who care for people with learning disabilities.

It is imperative that learning disability nurses are supported to stay in the profession. This programme is designed to support workforce retention and career longevity by individual leadership development.

Professor Greta Westwood

Learning Disability Nurses Leadership Programme 2020 overview


The Burdett Trust for Nursing has joined forces with the Florence Nightingale Foundation to offer this career development opportunity to recognise the contribution of Learning Disability Nurses. Since 1929, the Florence Nightingale Foundation has been committed to advancing the study of nursing and midwifery practice, promoting excellence and preparing nurses and midwives to follow in the footsteps of its namesake, to provide the best possible care to patients across the UK. This leadership programme is fully funded by Burdett Trust for Nursing. It offers 40 Learning Disability Nurses bespoke leadership development to become Florence Nightingale Nurses and develop as future leaders of healthcare. We will accept applications from nurses working in the field of Learning Disability in the NHS or non-NHS services across the UK.

Applications are now closed.

All costs are funded for you including refreshments and lunches for the face to face sessions, overnight accommodation, refreshments and dinner for the residential programme, course fees for RADA and entry to Westminster Abbey for our annual commemoration service.

Programme dates:

Two cohorts of 20 will be supported. If accepted onto the programme you will be allocated to cohort 1 or 2. The programme will be delivered mainly virtually due to current circumstances surrounding Covid-19. We aim to deliver the celebration day face to face depending on government guidelines at the time.

Both Cohorts

Advert opens: 29th June 2020
Advert closes: 24th July 2020
Shortlist: W/b 27th July 2020

Cohort 1

  • Welcome day: 6th August 2020 (Virtual session)
  • Quality Improvement: 7th August 2020 (Virtual session)
  • RADA: 31st August and 1st September 2020 (Virtual session)
  • Residential: 22nd and 23rd September 2020 (Virtual session)
  • Writing for publication workshop: 10th November 2020 (Virtual session)
  • Celebration day: TBC December 2020 (Face to face)

Cohort 2

  • Welcome day: 13th August 2020 (Virtual session)
  • Quality Improvement: 14th August 2020 (Virtual session)
  • RADA: 3rd and 4th September (Virtual session)
  • Residential: 13th and 14th October 2020 (Virtual session)
  • Writing for publication workshop: 10th November 2020 (Virtual session)
  • Celebration day: TBC December 2020 (Face to face)

Benefits for you

Expected Outcomes

An opportunity to benefit from a leadership programme and senior leadership support to develop as leaders, to improve patient and health outcomes for 40 Learning Disability Nurses. All module costs are funded for participants including catering for face to face programme events, overnight accommodation for the residential programme, course fees for RADA and entry to Westminster Abbey service.

  • Leadership style

    Clear identification of personal leadership style
  • Impact

    Greater self-presence and personal impact as well as understanding the impact of self on others
  • Confidence

    Increase confidence and ability to speak up and be hear plus confidence in speaking with and to authority
  • Career progression

    Clear career progression opportunities
  • Change

    Understand and lead change
  • Resilience

    Improved personal resilience, influence and capabilities to deal with the challenges and demands of a mid-career leadership role
  • Lead Practice

    Improved personal impact to help drive progress to build and lead practice that is inclusive, patient-centred and delivers compassionate care
  • Personal approach to leadership

    Critically aware of personal approach to leadership - biases, blind spots, attitude to diversity - and how to continue to develop own leadership after the programme
  • Workplace continuous improvement

    Confidence to tackle real workplace issues, reflecting what is needed in the clinical setting to promote safe, high-performing and a practice area that is continuously improving
  • Clinical settings

    Improved skills, knowledge, attitudes and behaviours to succeed and operate successfully in clinical settings
  • Positive change in practice setting

    Demonstrate a positive change made within the practice setting to provide better services/ increase patient outcomes and experiences/ improve staff engagement and morale - introduction to quality improvement

Benefits for employer

  • Retention of Learning Disability Nurses - FNF nurses remain in healthcare
  • Positive and empowering impact on team working and staff engagement
  • Improvement in patient and health outcomes
  • Enhanced reputation of employing organisation

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Programme structure

Due to the current situation surrounding Covid-19, this programme will mainly take place virtually with the residential module and celebration day provisionally booked face to face subject to government guidelines nearer the time.
  • 1-day virtual welcome day - a briefing day for both cohorts and the establishment of individual cohort learning communities
  • 1- day virtual QI session - advice and guidance on your QI project
  • 2 half-day virtual “Presence & Impact” Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) Programme
  • 2-day residential with a unique cohort of FNF Nurses and Midwives designed to build a learning community and a robust network of peer support throughout the programme and beyond. Facilitated discussion on current leadership challenges and opportunities and other contemporary topics Introduce FNF Nurses and Midwives to co-consulting, a simple process for giving and receiving help
  • 1-day virtual Writing for Publication workshop
  • Florence Nightingale Commemoration Service, Westminster Abbey, London - a unique opportunity for nurses, midwives, health care professionals, family members and guests to celebrate their professions and at the same time give thanks for Florence Nightingale’s extraordinary legacy to healthcare
  • High profile award ceremony to celebrate the success of the FNF Nurses and Midwives at end of the programme.

Eligibility criteria

Band 5 – 6 Learning Disability nurses working in the NHS and non-NHS services across the UK. It is relevant for those considering their future career pathway and leadership development journey.

Application process

Applications are now closed.

Chief Nurse Nominator Form

Line Manager Nominator Form

The application, shortlisting and selection processes will be administered nationally by the Florence Nightingale Foundation with Burdett Trust representation at shortlisting and interview.

  1. Applications open 29th June 2020
  2. Applications close 24th July 2020
  3. Shortlisting w/b 27th July 2020

Information for applying online:

What you will need to demonstrate in your application form and interview:

  • How you will use the programme to work with others, learn from, and share experiences
  • How the programme will support your personal development plan (PDP)
  • How you will use the experience to improve patient and health outcomes
  • Your aspirations to develop as a leader
  • Support from your line manager and Chief Nurse to enable you to attend all learning sessions/opportunities as part of this programme

Upon application, you are required to upload the following information:

  • Personal, employment and education information
  • A copy of your NMC registration documentation
  • An electronic photo of yourself (head and shoulders in high resolution)
  • A completed nominator referral form (completed by your line manager and Chief Nurse) with authorisation to join the programme
  • Completed terms and conditions

Please note before application.

  • Applications that do not demonstrate commitment to the profession, improving patient and health outcomes, commitment to the Florence Nightingale Foundation Alumni will not be considered
  • Incomplete applications will not be accepted
  • Applications without line manager or Chief Nurse support will not be accepted