My Blog as a Florence Nightingale Foundation 70for70 Leadership Programme Participant

I left a tertiary paediatric hospital after 4 years and now in an integrated care organisation. Not only was I now a ‘Band 6’, my name badge claimed that I was also a clinical nurse specialist!

I applied for the Florence Nightingale Foundation 70for70 Leadership Programme when I was in a whirlwind of transition in my nursing career.
For me, this programme began a journey of self-awareness. I already possessed some leadership qualities, some had to be nurtured and some had to be learnt (‘Thank You’ cards always told me that I was approachable so that was a start!).

I was now beginning to integrate into a new team and working along the path to becoming an autonomous practitioner.

‘Two roads diverged in a yellow wood’, and I planned to take both actually equipped with the experience of my Leadership Programme.

The first road; realising my own personal perceptions of qualities that hindered my ability as a leader; Public Speaking (this includes handover by the way!), presenting, being challenged, being asked questions, saying no to things, being too hard on myself and not acknowledging my own successes.

I now have confidence ‘I know that I know what I know’, I have experience, I have fresh and new ideas that are valid and I will now speak out and share my opinions.

The second road was working to be perceived as a good leader by others; families, children and young people, my allergy team, my nursing colleagues, the multidisciplinary world, to infinity and beyond!

One of the opportunities this Leadership Programme provided was to learn from RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts). Stripping human interaction right back to evolutional psychology has made me more aware of my personal impact and the affect this has on others around me (of all ages which was amazing as a paediatric nurse).

As a member of the nursing profession, I am a leader, so I strive to be a good one! The Florence Nightingale Foundation 70for70 Leadership programme has provided me with the confidence that I can inspire and achieve change.

I am visible. I have joined Twitter-and tweet about my daily experiences as an allergy nurse @CNSSinead.
I share my knowledge at orientation for new starters and I work clinically on the ward maintaining my fundamental skills.

I am a ‘Nursing Now’ England ambassador and have shared my nursing journey for all to see via Whittington Health Comms to promote positive perceptions of nursing and to encourage people to become nurses.

I am a mentor for #IWILL Youth Ambassadors-encouraging young volunteers (potential HCPs of the future!) to be involved in our health service. This was an aspect of sustainability alluded to in the NHS 10 year plan.

I have gained the courage to adapt our resources to be more pictorial and user friendly-aiming to address health inequalities despite language barriers or reading difficulties. I seek service user feedback in the process to encapsulate the voice of lived patient experience.


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