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Chief Nurse Fellowship graduates celebrated at special event

Colleagues from across University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust (UHNM) came together to celebrate the first ever Chief Nurse Fellowship during a special event. 

The Chief Nurse Fellowship Marketplace at the Royal Stoke University Hospital saw 12 fellows from the programme showcase their own research-based quality improvement project and be awarded their graduation certificates and badges by Ann-Maire Riley, UHNM’s Chief Nurse.

The event was the conclusion of a nine-month programme giving early career nurses, midwives and allied health professionals training on key themes to help develop their professional understanding.

Hosted by UHNM’s Centre for Nursing Midwifery and Allied Health Professionals Research and Education Excellence (CeNREE), staff successfully enrolled onto the fellowship are expected to work through their own research-based quality improvement project.

Speaking at the event, Ann-Marie Riley said: “The Chief Nurse Fellowship programme is open to early career nurses, midwives and AHPs from across UHNM and provides a professional development opportunity through bespoke training, mentoring, and coaching on key themes and professional practice.

“Today’s marketplace is a fantastic opportunity to speak to our fellows and find out more about their work and experiences from throughout the year. Through their research projects it’s brilliant to see first-hand our fellows applying what they’ve learnt into practice, and I’m sure these will become big initiatives at UHNM.”

One of the Fellows Phil Barnes, a Clinical Placement Project Manager who has worked at UHNM for three years, said: “I applied for the Chief Nurse Fellowship Programme in March 2023 when I was working as a Staff Nurse in Renal Medicine at Royal Stoke. I spoke about this opportunity with my line manager as she knew I had strong ambitions to grow and develop in my career, she was very supportive of me applying.

“I wanted to apply to develop my understanding of the NHS, grow my leadership skills and create my project proposal, a rotational programme for newly qualified nurses.

He added: “The Chief Nurse Fellowship Programme has been invaluable to my personal growth and kickstarting my career in the field I am most passionate about which is education. Due to the enormous amount of skills and tremendous wealth of knowledge I have gained throughout Programme, I was able to apply and succeed in achieving my current role of Clinical Placement Project Manager for the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Integrated Care System. This new role is a dream come true, is what I think of when I come to work.

“None of this would have been possible if it was not for the Chief Nurse Fellowship programme, but more importantly the support of the UHNM CeNREE team. My advice to anybody considering applying at the next opening is do not hesitate and apply.”

Rachel Houghton, CeNREE Programme Lead added: “We’re delighted that the Chief Nurse Fellowship has grown much quicker than we thought, with 29 fellows starting this year’s course. The feedback from across the organisation has been extremely enthusiastic and supportive, having extended the programme  next year to include those working in Pharmacy and our Clinical Scientists. It’s never too early to think about applying for next year, and I invite UHNM staff with any questions to contact the CeNREE team.”