Leadership is a key component of both the NMC and HCPC standards which means that all students have a role as future leaders in delivering the best possible care in partnership with service users. Many will go on to take up significant leadership positions across health and social care.
The Student Leadership Programme aims to promote and develop leadership skills among the future nursing, midwifery and AHP workforce by working with first and second year pre-registration students. Using information from a student survey and the input of students on the project advisory group the programme has been co-designed with students to ensure it focuses on areas not covered in current pre-registration curricula. So far, over 250 students from across the UK have already completed the programme. You can read about their experiences in their blogs and also listen to the #150Leaders podcasts.
The Student Leadership Programme is co-funded by the Council of Deans of Health and Burdett Trust for Nursing through a three-year grant to develop sector leaders. This year we have also been kindly supported by Health Education England to fund places on the programme for AHP students. Thanks to this support, places for successful applicants are fully subsidised and there is no cost to the selected students to participate in the Programme.
The Student Leadership Programme is currently in its fifth year, and we expect to open applications for our sixth year in Spring 2022.
The Student Leadership Programme structure
The programme officially starts with a two-day residential event full of workshops, lectures and seminars. To attend to diverse learning needs and preferences, the course blends individual learning and group projects, as well as opportunities to listen to leaders sharing their personal and professional journeys and illustrating different styles of leadership. Where possible, we run the residential events face to face but we may need to run these virtually depending on government guidelines.
The programme includes a coaching scheme with access to individuals who are visionary leaders, thinkers, creators and front runners in their own respective disciplines (within the health and care sector). Students on the programme are required to attend meetings with their allocated coach through a combination of face to face and/or online interaction.
We have an online community of practice where students can interact and debate relevant topics and issues as sharing and learning from each other is strongly encouraged. Students should make a meaningful contribution to the online community via social media, discussions, webinars and podcasts. Students can also publish blogs, articles or media clips to promote the learning from the programme to future student cohorts and others.
To help leaders to put their skills in to practice, we encourage students to undertake a project. Whilst you can learn about leadership on paper, but there’s even more to learn from leading a project and leading others. Our project themes include promoting interprofessional learning, support student wellbeing, promoting inclusive student recruitment, develop student networks, promoting professions, and research.
The programme ends with a final residential meeting and students are required to submit a final report (approximately 500-1000 words) to the Council of Deans of Health reflecting on the experience of the programme and the leadership journey.