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Future opportunities for the pioneering nurse

St Christopher's CARE


02 Dec, 2021
Morning and afternoon sessions from 10:00 – 17:40 GMT (some repeated sessions)

Useful information

Free one-day virtual conference

Join this free one-day virtual conference that draws together pioneering nurses from around the world.

ipcn care

Running from 10:00 – 17:40 GMT (with some repeated sessions to allow connection across different time zones).

This conference is jointly delivered by St Christopher’s CARE and ICPCN. ICPCN is the global umbrella organisation for children’s palliative care, with a mission to achieve the best quality of life and care for children and young people with life-threatening or life-limiting conditions, their families and carers worldwide.

Within the programme we will:

  1. Explore the characteristics of a pioneering nurse, drawing on the work of Florence Nightingale and Cicely Saunders, two nurses who changed the world  
  2. Provide insights into the work of some leading contemporary pioneering nurses, and how they achieve significant impact, often against the odds
  3. Provide suggestions for the development of pioneering skills and attributes in today’s pioneer nurses
  4. Celebrate the achievements and nursing journey of pioneering nurses around the world

Who is it for?

  • Are you a nurse pushing the boundaries to advance the nursing profession?
  • Are you committed to redressing inequalities related to end of life?
  • Would you like to meet others doing similar work and create a network that could support you in the future?
  • Do you want to be part of a community where you could have real international impact through sharing your practice?

If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, this conference if for you!


This conference:

  • Draws on the experience of nurse pioneers across the globe
  • Is available on-line
  • Will be supported with real time translation into French, Spanish and Portuguese
  • Will include some break out rooms for discussion
  • Will be filmed so that you can watch parts of the programme again or in your own time

The day is split into three sessions, all of which will take place on one zoom call.

Sessions 1 (10:00 – 12:20 GMT) and 3 (16:00 – 17:40) are repeated, so please join one or the other.

The sessions between 13:00 – 15:50 will only take place once.

Breakout Discussion Rooms will be offered in English, Portuguese, Spanish, French and Mandarin

Core sessions for repeat at the start and end of the day

Recognising yourself or others as a pioneering nurse: some key characteristics of nurses who lead transformational change through their career

Provoking change through pioneering: a journey of vision, courage, self- development and opportunity

Making the case for nursing as a pioneer: an introduction to a new contemporary model of nursing which highlights the unique offer of nursing to end of life care

Keynote presentations to take place between 13.00 and 15.00 GMT

In the middle of the day we will offer a series of talks from leading nurses across the world including:

  • Nicoletta Mitria
  • Myrna Doumit
  • David Wright
  • Rose Clark Nanyonga


Session 1: 10:00 – 12:20 (GMT)

10:00 – 10:10WelcomeProfessor Heather Richardson, Joint Chief Executive, St Christopher’s Hospice
10:10 – 10:30Recognising Yourself or Others as a Pioneering Nurse: Some key characteristics of nurses who lead transformational change through their careerProfessor Heather Richardson, Joint Chief Executive, St Christopher’s Hospice
10:30 – 11:00Provoking Change Through Pioneering: a journey of vision, courage, self-development and opportunityProfessor Julia Downing, Executive Director, International Children’s Palliative Care Network (ICPCN)  
11:00 – 11:20Promoting Nursing at the End of Life as a Pioneer: New opportunities arising from the Lantern ModelMarie Cooper, Project Lead for Celebrating Palliative Care Nursing, St Christopher’s Hospice
11:20 – 11:30Question and Answer SessionAll above speakers
11:35 – 12:15Breakout Room Discussion Groups facilitated in English, Portuguese, French, Spanish and MandarianN/A

Session 2: 13:00 – 15:50 (GMT)

13:00 – 13:15WelcomeProfessor Ann Lloyd Keen, Nurse and Campaigner
13:15 – 13:35Pioneering Change Through National ActionProfessor Myrna Dourmit, Immediate Past President of the Order of Nurses
13:35 – 13:55Using Education and Training to Pioneer Developments in HealthcareProfessor Rose Clarke Nanyonga, Vice Chancellor, Clarke International University
13:55 – 14:20Drawing on Personal Values as the Compass for Pioneering Action Dr Nicoleta Mitrea,  Director of Nursing Education and Development at HOSPICE Casa Sperantei and Senior Lecturer at the University of Transilvania, Brasov,
14:20 – 14:50Making Pioneering Effort MatterDr David Wright,
Academic Lead, Centre for Research on Health and Nursing
14:50 – 15:00Question and Answer SessionMarie Cooper, Project Lead for Celebrating Palliative Care Nursing, St Christopher’s Hospice
15:00 – 15:40Breakout Room Discussion Groups facilitated in English, Portuguese, French, Spanish and MandarinN/A

Session 3: 16:00 – 17:40 (GMT)

16:00 – 16:10WelcomeProfessor Julia Downing, Executive Director, International Children’s Palliative Care Network (ICPCN)  
16:10 – 16:30Recognising Yourself or Others as a Pioneering Nurse: Some key characteristics of nurses who lead transformational change through their careerProfessor Heather Richardson, Joint Chief Executive, St Christopher’s Hospice
16:30 – 17:00Provoking Change Through Pioneering: a journey of vision, courage, self-development and opportunityProfessor Julia Downing, Executive Director, International Children’s Palliative Care Network (ICPCN)  
17:00 – 17:20Promoting Nursing at the End of Life as a Pioneer: New opportunities arising from the Lantern ModelMarie Cooper, Project Lead for Celebrating Palliative Care Nursing, St Christopher’s Hospice
17:20 – 17:30Question and Answer SessionAll above speakers
17:30 – 17:40Closing thoughtsProfessor Heather Richardson, Joint Chief Executive, St Christopher’s Hospice


You will have the opportunity to hear from:

  • Professor Ann Lloyd Keen, first nurse to be appointed to a ministerial post in the British Government. Currently a Nursing Advisor to Her Majesty ‘s Opposition (Labour Party).
  • Prof Rose Clarke Nanyonga, Ugandan nurse, academice and current vice chancellor of Clarke International University. A pioneer, mover and shaker, achieving impact and change by educating and developing others
  • Prof Mryna Dourmit, internationally recognised as a leader of change and pioneering developments in Lebanon and beyond, positioning nursing as vital in national and global plans for healthcare improvement
  • Prof Julia Downing, pioneering nurse in children’s palliative care, leading global thinking and debate about the development and improvement of paediatric services
  • Dr David Kenneth Wright, pioneering nurse academic from Canada, interested in the future shape and role of nursing and how palliative practitioners support that
  • Dr Nicoleta Mitrea, a nurse leader in Romania, focused on a values led response to pioneering change and developments in response to significant challenge
  • Marie Cooper, senior nurse focused on practice development and quality improvement, co-author of the Lantern Model with significant experience in the delivery and leadership of nursing services, currently working at St Christopher’s to build a programme focused on advancing contemporary nursing at the end of life
  • Prof Heather Richardson, nurse in palliative care in the UK committed to a different experience of end of life in the UK and beyond, currently Joint Chief Executive at St Christopher’s and co-author of the Lantern Model

Speaker profiles

Rose CN

A well-established healthcare leader, Dr. Rose Clarke Nanyonga, was appointed as Clarke International University’s (CIU) Vice Chancellor in Uganda, July 3rd, 2017. From August 3rd, 2015 to June 30th, 2017, she served as both the Deputy Vice Chancellor and Acting Vice Chancellor. She also holds a Senior Faculty position at CIU, teaching Health Policy and Planning; Advanced Strategic Management (Graduate Level) and various Executive Leadership Courses. One of only four current female Vice Chancellors in Uganda, Dr. Nanyonga is the first female Vice Chancellor with a nursing background in Uganda.

Dr. Nanyonga received her undergraduate degree in Nursing from Arkansas Tech University (2002), where she was an all- American Scholar, Class Valedictorian, Student nurse of the Year and graduated Summa Cum Laude. She earned a Master of Science in Nursing from Baylor University (2005). She then went on to earn her Ph.D. in Nursing from Yale University, where she was a Jonas Scholar. She also earned a Graduate Certificate of Concentration in Global Health from the Whitney and Betty McMillan Center for International Studies at Yale University in 2015.

In June 2005, Dr. Nanyonga was recruited as the Director of Nursing Services for International Medical Group (IMG), a leading and largest private health system in Uganda. She was instrumental in helping Dr. Clarke to establish the International Hospital Kampala School of Nursing which formed the first faculty in CIU when the university was granted licensure in March 2008. n 2006, she was quickly promoted to the position of Director of Clinical Services and Senior Manager for International Medical Group managing clinical operations for International Hospital Kampala and all associated primary healthcare service centers (clinics) within IMG while maintaining an active role in teaching, public speaking, community service and advocacy.

Dr. Nanyonga holds several public speaking engagements as an inspirational and motivational speaker. She is particularly interested in dialog on transformational leadership, growing leadership capacity for future generations of healthcare providers, how current professionals can retool themselves to match the competitive and cutting- edge work culture of the 21st century, and fostering leadership to transform rhetoric into action. Her doctoral work looked at: Leadership, Followership and the Context; an Integrative Examination of Nursing Leadership in Uganda.


Myrna A. A. Doumit, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN is a tenured founding Associate Professor and Assistant Dean (2011- Dec 2020) at the Lebanese American University (LAU), School of Nursing since 2011.  Dr Doumit served as a nursing faculty at AUBSON from 1990-2010.

 Dr. Doumit was the first hired full time faculty after the appointment of the founding Dean. Therefore, she played an instrumental role in founding the School of Nursing at LAU. She served as lead faculty for the CCNE accreditation and was able to get it twice until 2028. Dr Doumit also served on many school and university committees. She also served on the Dean search committee for Pharmacy and Nursing at LAU. Also she reviewed faculty’s files for promotion and tenure and she is on the University Promotion Council (UPC since 2011). She also served on the Senate and Faculty Welfare and promotion Council (FWPC) 

 Dr Doumit’s scholarship reflects her expertise in oncology nursing, palliative care and nursing workforce. Her publications shed the light for the first time on many gray areas in the field of oncology in Lebanon that were not explored or discussed. She is a co-founder of an NGO “ Awareness” for breast cancer. Dr Doumit is the founding and director of the community project “Courage against breast cancer”.

Dr. Myrna Doumit is the Immediate Past President of the Order of Nurses in Lebanon (2018-2021) and a Fellow at the American Academy of Nursing. She is also a member on the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health National committees for breast cancer awareness and palliative care and pain. Dr Doumit is a representative of the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health on the Arab Nursing Council for Health. Elected as vice president for the Arab Board scientific committee for nurses and midwifery. She is a founding member of the Chi Iota Chapter at AUBSON(STTI).   She also served as the Coordinator of the STTI Middle East region (2015-2017).  She is a reviewer for many international nursing journals. Dr Doumit is a member of the Groupe de Reflexion sur L’Ethique en Mediterranee (GREM). She served on the Organizing committee for ISNCC international conferences since 2011.

In 2018 Dr Doumit received the past President Award from ISNCC for her work in the field of Oncology. In 2021 she was elected by the United Nations Lebanon as Leader of Change for the response to COVID 19.

During the pandemic Dr Doumit proved to be strong fighter for the well-being of nurses and she played an instrumental role in shedding the light on their role and in placing the Order of Nurses at the decision making table in Lebanon. She is on the Emergency National Committee for Covid and the National Committee for vaccination. Recently Dr Doumit was nominated by ICN and she received the award “Beyond Applause: Heroines of Health 2021” by Women in Global Health.  Also she was received the Health Worker Recognition Award in the category of Leadership by WHO EMRO region.  2021 she was listed as Distinguished Nursing Alumni, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh USA

Julia Downing

Prof Julia is an experienced palliative and cancer care nurse, educationalist and researcher. She is the Chief Executive of the International Children’s Palliative Care Network (ICPCN) and an Honorary Professor in Palliative Care at Makerere University, Uganda. She has extensive experience in Global palliative care, research and education, and has been working within palliative care for 30 years, with twenty of those working internationally in Uganda, Africa, Eastern Europe and globally developing palliative care for adults and children.

She serves on the Boards of several NGOs including the Worldwide Hospice and Palliative Care Alliance (WHPCA), the International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care (ISNCC), the Palliative care Education and Research Consortium (PcERC) in Uganda and the African Palliative Care Association (APCA) UK, and is an Advisor to the International Association of Hospice and Palliative Care (IAHPC). She is a Visiting Professor at Edge Hill University and the University of Belgrade in Serbia. She is also a Senior Honorary Research Fellow with the Cicely Saunders Institute at KCL, and an Honorary Senior Fellow at the University of Edinburgh.. She also works closely with the WHO with regards to children’s palliative care. She was the recipient of the IJPN’s Development Award in 2006, the ISNCC Robert Tiffany lectureship in 2014, the Pearl Moore “Making a Difference” International Award for Contributions to Cancer Care from the ONS in 2015 and was recognised as one of eight ‘Change Agents in Cancer Care’ in a publication on Women as Change Agents in Oncology in 2016.

She is passionate about developing nurses as leaders, running leadership programmes for palliative nurses, and encouraging and inspiring nurses around the world to step out of their comfort zones, find their voices and lead.

david kenneth wright

David Kenneth Wright is the academic lead for Palliative Care and Nursing Ethics within the Centre for Research on Health and Nursing.

He holds specialty certification in hospice palliative care nursing from the Canadian Nurses Association and works clinically at a residential palliative care facility (hospice) in Montreal.

Current projects, with colleagues and graduate students, include nursing analyses of palliative sedation, of medical assistance in dying, and of palliative care approaches in diverse contexts such as intensive care, forensic psychiatry, and prison.


Dr Nicoleta is the Director of Nursing Education and Development at HOSPICE Casa Sperantei and Senior Lecturer at the University of Transilvania, Brasov, Romania. Nicoleta is actively involved in organising, supervising and teaching all the subjects in palliative care at all three levels of education: basic, advanced and specialised. She coordinates the national specialisation programme for nurses that work in palliative care services.

She started her nursing career at a very young age in the paediatric hospital. December 1998 marked the beginning of an unexpected fruitful career in Palliative Nursing, when she joined the Hospice “Casa Sperantei” (HCS) as a home care nurse. Her knowledge, abilities and revolutionary style has been increasingly polished and appreciated. Currently Nicoleta leads the education and clinical practice of palliative care nurses in HCS, other palliative care services around the country and in several Eastern European countries. Nicoleta graduated from the multidisciplinary Masters Programme in palliative care in 2012 and the Medical Doctoral Studies in November 2017. Since 2020 she has been a Senior Lecturer at the University of Transylvania in Brasov. She never stopped caring for patients and is currently performing her clinical duties in the lympheodema and breast cancer care clinic.

She was instrumental in developing palliative care as a specialty for nurses in Romania which was approved for nurses by the Ministry of Health in 2017. 77 palliative care specialist nurses graduated in 2019 and 76 in 2020. She believes in investing in the nurses around her, making the most of the time people have available, stepping out of her comfort zone, and going beyond limits. She realises you must accept that you cannot reach sustainable success working alone, so invest in team building. And importantly, be you!

Marie Cooper

Marie is a nurse with 40 years’ experience of clinical leadership with an expertise in practice development across  a range of care settings. Having delivered change in her previous roles, she now supports others to do so. Her particular area of interest is in working with nurse leaders to develop high performance teams and practice. Such opportunities have given her a clarity about the many issues nurse leaders and those engaged in palliative care delivery face today.

From 2014 to June 2019, Marie was Practice Development Lead for Hospice UK, which enabled her to work with hospice clinical leaders and national organisations to champion the delivery of high quality, accessible palliative care. Since June 2019, Marie works freelance and in addition to her other work she is the Project Lead at St Christopher’s Hospice for the Celebrating Palliative Care Nursing programme. This  is an exciting programme which  includes developing a contemporary Model of Nursing and bringing together pioneering nurses who are shaping palliative care across the world into a vibrant community. The programme’s overarching aim is to celebrate and showcase the unique and vital contribution of end of life and palliative care nursing which is developing internationally.

author heather richardson

Heather Richardson works as one of the Joint Chief Executives of St Christopher’s Hospice, London. She has previously held the role of National Clinical Lead for Hospice UK, and worked as Clinical Director, then Strategy Advisor to St. Joseph’s Hospice in east London prior to her move to St Christopher’s.

Heather is a registered general and mental health nurse and has worked in hospice/palliative care since 1988. She has a PhD, her research concerned with users’ experience of day hospice. More recently, she has developed a research interest around public health and end of life care. She currently serves as an honorary professor in palliative care at Lancaster University.

In the past, she has received the International Palliative Nurse of the Year award issued by the International Journal of Palliative Nursing and other awards related to her role in innovation in healthcare.

Ann Keen

Ann is a Registered Nurse, Campaigner and  former MP. She came to politics very early in her nursing career driven by her underpinning determination to challenge inequity especially related to the older person and also health care staff pay and employment conditions. She was met with formidable challenge as she campaigned, but her tenacity led to key changes and success in these and wider aspects of civil issues.

Ann still hears colleagues say today  ‘I’m just a nurse’ and  wants nurses to know  the individual voice with a supportive collective  can lead for amazing  and important change. Ann  continues to campaign on a number  of important issues, most notably she is Chair of the Cannabis Patient Advocacy & Support Services (CPASS), seeking to provide safe access to medicinal cannabis.

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St Christopher’s Education Centre and VAT charges

At St Christopher's, a registered charity, it is important for us to maximise any surpluses to reinvest in the objectives of the charity.

Unfortunately, the manner in which we undertake our training currently means we are not able to invest as much of our surplus as possible, therefore from the 1 December 2017, St Christopher’s Education Centre will charge VAT at the standard rate on our training courses, the reason for this change in pricing is twofold:

i) We want to be able to reinvest any surpluses made from training back into all of our charitable objectives rather than only Education

ii) We want to be able to reclaim the VAT on costs relating to developing and running the training courses