Mental health nurses join Florence Nightingale programme

Posted: 22/09/20

Two members of staff from a local NHS Trust have been chosen from 500 applicants to take part in a national leadership programme.

Rachael Betty and Rosie Taylor, both from Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW), are two of 40 mental health nurses on the Mental Health Nurse Leadership Programme ran by the Florence Nightingale Foundation.

Designed to enhance the careers of nurses caring and supporting those with mental ill health, the programme runs from September to December.

The programme offers bespoke leadership development enabling participants to become Florence Nightingale Nurses and develop as future leaders in healthcare. It has been found to have a positive and empowering impact on staff and improved patient and health outcomes.

It looks at different themes including identification of personal leadership style, greater self-presence and personal impact, increasing confidence, continuous workplace improvement and positive change in a practice setting.

Participants also have the opportunity to train with the Royal Academy of Drama looking at creating a presence and talking to a group of people.

Due to the pandemic, the sessions will be run virtually and ends with a ceremony celebrating the success of the cohort.

Rachael applied for the programme after seeing it advertised in the Trust’s staff bulletin.

“I wanted to do something that will help me be better in my job,” she explained. “This programme will help me progress in my career and lead to more opportunities. I’m always keen to do things that will take me out of my comfort zone and build my confidence.”

Rachael works half the week in the Northumberland children’s crisis team and the other half in the practice education team as an education support nurse. This is a new role which involves working with apprentice nurses, helping develop the apprenticeship programme and offering pastoral support to nurses who may be struggling to balance their work and studies.

“Both of my managers have been really supportive of me doing the programme alongside my day-to-day role,” Rachael added.

Community nurse practitioner Rosie was encouraged by her manager to apply for the programme. She specialises in early intervention in mental health, providing short term intervention, assessment and liaison for children and young people who are presenting with emotional and mental health problems.

She works to provide a solution-based approach to give children the opportunity to achieve their full potential and achieve the best possible outcome for their future.

Rosie said: “I jumped at the opportunity for the programme. I’m passionate about early intervention and feel that the programme will be able to channel my enthusiasm and experience in this area to develop my personal leadership style.

“I also hope the programme will increase my confidence in a leadership role.”

As part of the programme, Rachael and Rosie are also tasked with undertaking a quality improvement programme.

CNTW is a leading provider of mental health and disability services in the North East and north Cumbria.