They’re future leaders in health

Student Leadership logo which includes a rainbow
Two University of Brighton students have received national recognition as potential healthcare leaders of the future.

Sam Mcneff, studying Nursing (child) BSc, and Hannah Roberts, Nursing BSc (mental health), have been accepted for the Council of Deans of Health’s Student Leadership Programme to further develop skills to become leaders in their specialisms.

The programme is for individuals who “aspire to lead and make a difference and who are currently enrolled in the first or second year of their pre-registration undergraduate studies or are a first-year pre-registration postgraduate student in nursing, midwifery or one of the Allied Health Professions”.

The three-to-four–month-long programme provides intensive training in essential knowledge and skills for future leaders. It includes tailored workshops, lectures and seminars led by experts in leadership.

black and white photo of SamSam said: “I was really surprised when my selection email appeared in my inbox, as so many fantastic and deserving colleagues from across the UK had also applied for just 50 spaces.

“I am delighted to have been selected and hope that the programme will support me in developing skills allowing myself to develop as an individual, but also support me in working towards becoming a successful and dedicated leader in children’s nursing.

“Through participating in the programme, I hope that I can develop skills which will enable me to recognise my weaknesses and build upon my personal strengths in supporting my personal and professional development as a children’s nurse. I am thoroughly looking forward to engaging with the programme starting at a two-day residential conference in March. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity and cannot wait to get started and look forward to sharing my experiences of the programme.”

photo of Hannah wearing glassesHannah said: “I feel incredibly lucky to have been chosen to enrol onto this year’s Council of Deans of Health Student Leadership Programme cohort and am eagerly looking forward to improving my understanding, self-awareness and professional development of nursing leadership. I’m equally grateful to the peers and lecturing staff who supported my application.

“Throughout my degree so far, I have met many healthcare workers of all bands and job descriptors, whose obstinate compassion and advocation for patients and colleagues, I have found personally inspiring. Their intrinsic value of competence, holism, mentorship, safety and kindness is a testament to what I believe professional nursing practice to be, and I aspire to work in a similar capacity once registered to support, encourage and empower those around me.

“Leadership to me is the development of a collective and inclusive culture of equal opportunity where individuals, regardless of job title, feel able to actively participate in organisational quality improvement processes. I hope through the workshops and training available through the Student Leadership Programme I can learn more about collective leadership techniques, increase my confidence, and reflect on how I may incorporate leadership into everyday practice as a newly qualified nurse and beyond.”

Professor Paula Kersten, Head of the University’s School of Health Sciences, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Sam and Hannah. Leadership in healthcare is critical for strengthening the quality of care. This programme supports students’ development in leadership beyond what a single university can offer, for example through networking events with students from across the UK and coaching from visionary leaders in the field.

“Many congratulations to them both.”

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