Reflecting on four incredible years of FNF Academy

Gemma Stacey

As I say goodbye to my role as Director of Academy and Deputy Chief Executive at FNF, I feel incredibly proud of the amazing journey I have had the privilege to be part of over the past four years. The FNF Academy has grown so much, not just in size, but in its impact on the nursing and midwifery professions. 

The concept of the FNF Academy came from the visionary leadership of Professor Greta Westwood (CEO), Dame Yvonne Moores (previous chair), and professor Dame Jill Macleod Clark (trustee). They laid the groundwork for us to build this incredible community of nursing and midwifery leaders. When we first started the FNF Academy in 2020, we had this vision of creating a platform that would boost the impact of nurses and midwives through leadership development, research, and policy influence. Little did we know that we were about to embark on a journey that would change the lives of so many professionals across the UK and now the world. 

One of the things I’m most proud of is how our membership has grown. We started with just a handful of dedicated individuals, and now we’ve got 140 members reaching a mind-blowing 250,000 nurses and midwives. It’s humbling to see how engaged they are in webinars, events, and policy influencing opportunities, especially considering how precious their time is. The membership community benefits the entire workforce in an organisation and has been described as offering unique access to education, networking, and influencing opportunities. 

The Academy’s leadership development programmes and scholarships have been the cornerstone of our work. Seeing the personal and professional growth of our participants has been an absolute privilege, and I know their impact will continue to ripple through the healthcare system for years to come. The trust and support of our alumni have been the driving force behind our success, and I’m deeply touched by their commitment to clinical excellence and unwavering belief in our mission. 

Our research and policy influence initiatives have also played a huge role in shaping the future of nursing and midwifery. By collaborating with key national stakeholders, we’ve contributed to evidence-based decision-making and advocated for the advancement of our professions. The FNF Academy has become a go-to source for nursing and midwifery thought leadership in the healthcare community, and I can’t wait for the official launch of the Think Tank later this year. 

As I look back on my time at FNF Academy, I’m filled with so much gratitude for the talented and dedicated team I’ve had the pleasure of working with. Their passion, expertise, and tireless efforts have been the backbone of our success, and I know they’ll continue to take the Academy to new heights in the years to come. 

To our members, alumni, partners, and supporters, I just want to say a massive thank you. Your trust and belief in our mission have been the greatest gift, and I’m forever grateful for the opportunity to work alongside you. The partnerships forged and relationships developed will continue to be central to the strength of the FNF Academy.   

As I step into the next chapter of my leadership journey, I leave the FNF Academy feeling fulfilled and excited for what’s to come. I know the Academy will continue to thrive, innovate, and make a lasting impact on the nursing and midwifery professions. 

Gemma Stacey Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Academy, FNF (2020-2024)