High performing student nurses pilot first leadership academy

11 Sep 2013 15:39:08.513

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The National Junior Leadership Academy (NJLA) established by The University of Nottingham has seen the first cohort of high achieving student nurses through their first residential retreat.

The NJLA, funded by the Higher Education Academy, aims to support high performing nursing students to construct a leadership identity early in their career journey, equipping them to target the challenges they are likely to face due to the healthcare reforms.

The innovative programme is led by Stacy Johnson and Dr Ar Narayanasamy from the School of Health Sciences at The University of Nottingham and Professor Laura Serrant-Green from The University of Wolverhampton.

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The NJLA involves a three day residential leadership retreat and a two week internship followed by another two day residential retreat. The programme also offers mentor support, coaching and the formation of peer to peer regional leadership networks with tasks and activities to be completed between retreats.

National organisations like the Royal College of Nursing, NHS Improving Quality, Foundation of Nursing Studies and Nottingham University Hospitals Trust are all providing internships during which students will shadow a senior leader. The Academy’s Patron is British nursing academic Dame Elizabeth Fradd.

Third year nursing student, and Student Nursing Times Award winner, Victoria Lonsdale from The University of Nottingham is one of the elite group (which has been selected across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), who attended the retreat. Participants also include a former army recruit who was stationed in Afghanistan and students who have been involved in the Sir Bruce Keogh’s mortality reviews.

Victoria said: “As soon as I read about the National Junior Leadership Academy I was immediately interested. As a student nurse, studying for my qualification during the current health service reform, I have a clear understanding of the importance of strong nursing leadership. I recognise the immense impact leadership can have on the profession and the future of nursing.”

Stacy Johnson, a lecturer from the School of Health Sciences said: “Changes in the UK health sector and the need for high quality nursing care require strong nursing leadership. Evidence suggests that early identification and development of individuals with leadership aptitude has benefits for individuals, the health service, the nursing profession and society. We believe the students chosen for the Academy have the potential to be future leaders, in what is a rapidly changing health sector.”

To win one of just 18 places on this pilot programme, students had to submit a short biography, a personal statement outlining why they should be chosen, why they think they would benefit from the academy and where they see themselves in five years’ time.

Victoria wrote: ‘If I was to be granted a place on the Junior Leadership Academy, I think the opportunity would equip me with many skills, and enable me to gain experience which would be extremely valuable when working to achieve my career aspirations.’


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Notes to editors: The University of Nottinghamhas 42,000 students at award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It was ‘one of the first to embrace a truly international approach to higher education’, according to the Sunday Times University Guide 2013. It is also one of the most popular universities among graduate employers, one of the world’s greenest universities, and winner of the Times Higher Education Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong and the QS World Rankings.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise. The University aims to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health. The University won a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for its research into global food security.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest ever fundraising campaign, will deliver the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…

Story credits

More information is available from Stacy Johnson on +44 (0)115 823 0877, stacy.johnson@nottingham.ac.uk; or Zoë Baker in the Communications Office at The University of Nottingham, on +44 (0)115 748 4413, zoe.baker@nottingham.ac.uk


Charlotte Anscombe – Media Relations Manager (Arts and Social Sciences)

Email: charlotte.anscombe@nottingham.ac.uk  Phone:+44 (0)115 74 84 417 Location: University Park

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