Published
26 June 2023

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Nurse development programme scores multiple successes

Less than halfway through the year, Clinical Nurse Specialist Kate attributes her promotion to our development programme

Kate Wilson

Three months ago, in my first blog I shared my reasons for wanting to join the newly created Advanced Clinical Practitioner and Nurse Consultant Development Programme. I spelt out how I felt I’d hit a bit of a clinical ceiling, wanted to stay in frontline patient care rather than move into management, but still felt like I had something to offer as a leader.

As soon as I heard about the programme it felt like it would provide me with the perfect pathway to achieve my goal by offering, as it does, loads of support to increase clinical and leadership skills, helping nurses like me feel empowered, more confident and able to take on that leadership role.

Now, I’m excited to share the news that I’ve been offered a new role here at St Barnabas, as Associate Nurse Consultant. That was my goal and I’ve achieved it. I really don’t think it would have been possible without the framework of the programme. It has really helped to drive me and given me a voice to promote myself. I owe the programme so much. And now, alongside the pride and recognition I’m feeling, I feel reassured that as I start in the new role providing expert clinical leadership, I’ll have the support of the programme running alongside and know there are people I can turn to for support as I grow and develop in it

As for the group, we’ve all got to know each other so well already via the open and honest discussions we have, so it was great to meet up and spend time together.

I’m not the only one in the group who’s had good news. Another member of our group announced recently that she just got funding for her PhD. We all felt such a genuine feeling of shared pride. It’s lovely hearing about the successes in the group and being able to celebrate achievements.

We’re also finding the social platform we use, Discord, a great way of supporting each other and keeping in touch. When one of the cohort posted recently about how she was having a difficult time with a colleague we all used our own experience to provide advice and it proved really helpful for her in resolving that issue.

These latest in-person sessions were a great example of this sense of feeling like you’re in a safe space to share everything and everyone is there with the same goal. The days were focused mainly on knowing and growing yourself – how to bring your own personal qualities to leading. This included completing a detailed personality assessment to identify personal strengths and weaknesses and the discussions about how best to optimise or overcome these challenges in your work.

The first session with David Wright, PhD, RN and visiting lecturer from Ontario, Canada, was the first in the new module, Autonomous Practice and Accountability, introducing (for many of us), the concept of moral identity in nursing, followed by exploring how this affects our values, both personally and professionally. It was fascinating to examine and discuss what we really value personally and have the space to recognise when this doesn’t always align with our personal values, then looking at how we can resolve and potential inner conflicts this can create. So, for example, I feel I am a nurse who will try and practice above and beyond, but the concept of nurses as heroes can be hard to live up to and have a personal cost to ourselves and our families.

For most of us on the programme, it would be rare to have a forum to discuss these kinds of issues in our working day to day, apart from possibly clinical supervision every few weeks. It was very refreshing to have this opportunity to hear from lots of different voices. We’re also starting to really see how all the different modules on the programmes link together and complement each other.

If you’d like to follow in Kate’s footsteps, want to find out more about the Advanced Clinical Practitioner and Nurse Consultant Development Programme and register your interest for the 2024 programme, click here.

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