Leadership scholarship

Our bespoke leadership scholarships equip scholars with the skills and confidence to contribute positively and significantly to improve patient care.

The Foundation are outstanding at developing innovative curriculum for nurses such as in the leadership scholarship. The inspiring curriculum pushes people, grows skills and it is at the edge of contemporary leadership education.

Eamonn Sullivan

Chief nurse at Royal Marsden Hospital

Leadership scholarship overview

Our leadership development programmes create opportunities for scholars to explore and discover their own leadership styles and develop the essential tools they need to ignite change.


We focus on facilitated learning that challenges leaders to think about key elements of health and care leadership.

All leadership scholars are required to complete an improvement project and are required to publish and present this at the end of their scholarship year.

We offer three types of leadership scholarship programmes:

Senior Leaders

Available to senior nurses or midwives, for example Director of Nursing or Midwifery

Aspiring Nurse/Midwifery Director

Available to nurses and midwives with the potential to secure a Board level position in the next 2 – 3 years.

Emerging Leader

Available to Band 7 or 8 nurses or midwives who are taking up their first leadership role.

Benefits for you

Be part of a 'life-changing' experience

Scholars report the “life changing” scholarship experience and its professional and personal impact. Scholars report feeling more confident to speak out and influence improvements in patient care and health outcomes.

  • Career development

    A significant number of scholars are promoted into more senior roles within 2 years of the scholarship.
  • Impact policy and practice

    Scholars report the positive impact they have on leading teams and improving patient care and health outcomes. In a recent survey, 82.5% of leaderships scholars identified that they made an impact to health and social care policy and practice.
  • Support from the Foundation

    The Foundation are on-hand to support you throughout the scholarship process. You will also have an experienced mentor and have access to your fellow scholars for support.
  • Network with like-minded nurses and midwives

    Scholars are now part of a growing Alumni network (over 600) providing on-going support and in some cases, friends for life.
  • New knowledge through evidence-based approaches

    Like Florence, scholars will work on evidence-based approaches and use and share their new knowledge to impact patients and lead changes in policy and practice.

Benefits for employer

  • Improvement in patient and health outcomes
  • Retention of staff – scholars stay in healthcare
  • Positive impact on the team and beneficial for staff engagement
  • Enabler of succession planning
  • Recognition of employers commitment to leadership development and succession planning

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Programme structure

The scholarship is a 12 month programme. The programme is based on independent learning around your personal goals along with a residential study and workshops with your peers. The programme includes:
  • Individual leadership assessment followed by 3 hour personal feedback session
  • Assigned a mentor
  • Welcome day
  • 2 day residential with unique cohort of peer scholars
  • 1 day mid programme cohort follow up with discussion of contemporary topics with invited speakers
  • Access to multiple leadership development opportunities including options to travel overseas
  • High profile award ceremony at end of scholarship year

Eligibility criteria

The programme is for nurses and midwives in the UK (registered with NMC) who are looking for leadership development. The below is specific requirements for different leadership scholarship types:

Emerging Leader:

  • Registered nurse or midwife
  • Band 7 or 8 or equivalent
  • Executive level of support letter confirming time available to complete scholarship activities
  • Confirmation of 10% employer contribution

Aspiring Nurse/Midwife Director:

  • Registered nurse or midwife
  • Band 8 and above or equivalent
  • Executive level of support letter confirming time available to complete scholarship activities
  • Confirmation of 10% employer contribution

General Leader:

  • Registered nurse or midwife
  • Executive level role or equivalent
  • Executive level of support letter confirming time available to complete scholarship activities
  • Confirmation of 10% employer contribution

Application process

  1. Apply online
  2. Successful applications are selected for a panel based interview

Information for applying online:

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

  • Personal, employment and education information
  • A copy of your NMC registration documentation
  • Details of your employer and finance department for authorisation for scholar 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 executive level support  and confirmation of 10% contribution will not be accepted

Apply online
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