Eight midwifery and nursing students are set to graduate from two “unique and trailblazing” courses designed to fast-track them for senior posts like director of nursing or consultant midwife.
Launched in 2018, the four-year undergraduate master’s degrees – MSci Midwifery with Leadership and MSci Nursing with Leadership – are said to be unique in containing a leadership module at their heart.
“It’s great to see the first cohort nearing the end of their studies”
The programmes include a leadership module in each year and students worked closely with NHS leaders in what those behind the initiatives called leadership learning sets.
Students also took leadership internships with organisations such as the Nursing and Midwifery Council, Royal College of Midwives and NHS England, or with specialist teams, consultant nurses and midwives.
Their aim is to give graduates a better, faster, chance of progressing to senior roles, according to the University of Leicester, which is running the two courses.
The eight MSci students, who will graduate in January 2023, comprise five midwives, two adult and mental health nurses, and one child and mental health nurse.
The creation of the courses was partly triggered by several public inquiries into health and maternity care recently recommending that leadership skills be embedded at all levels.
Further factors driving their development, said the university, were an aging workforce and a desire to increase the business, entreprenurial and communication acumen within the profession.
“The midwifery and nursing professions need leaders who have vision, are articulate and get their voices heard at the highest level,” said Jane Marshall, foundation professor of midwifery and co-architect of the courses.
Professor Marshall, who is also deputy head of the university’s School of Healthcare, said she believed the programme provided those on it with such skills, which were in high demand from trusts.
“It’s great to see the first cohort nearing the end of their studies – many with employment offers already,” she noted.
“We anticipate their career trajectory into a future leadership role will be swifter, not only because of their enhanced leadership skills and knowledge, but also by virtue of graduating with a master’s degree.
“Usually, depth of leadership and management skills are only acquired post-qualification, which makes our graduates so unique and more attractive to employers,” she added.
Both courses were developed after University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and Leicester Partnership NHS Trust specifically asked the university for support in developing their midwifery and nursing workforce with enhanced leadership, knowledge and skills.
Pictured from left to right are: Jane Maposa, student midwife, Bethan Barrett, student child and mental health nurse, Kate Adams, student midwife, Prabhleen Mann, student midwife, Michelle Sutton – student midwife, and Maeva Kamtcheu, student midwife.