As the Senior Events and Programme Coordinator of the QNI Ambition to Lead Programme, I’m excited to share a ‘behind-the-scenes’ look at this transformative leadership opportunity.  I have been privileged over the last two and half years to support nurses and allied health professionals (AHPs) through this 12-month journey, witnessing their growth and the lasting impact it has had on their careers.  

In this blog, I will take you step-by-step through what you can expect as a participant – from the initial residential to the final day. I hope that by the end, you’ll be as inspired as I am about the possibilities that lie ahead. Let’s get started! 

Meeting at the first residential 

Walking into a hotel in the idyllic English countryside, you are greeted by the QNI leadership programme team, Dr Cate Wood, Lucy Pratt, and me, Louise Bellamy. We will introduce you to a group of like-minded nurses and AHPs who will be with you on this journey for the next year. 

During the first residential, you will spend the two days getting to know each other professionally and personally. You will also get to know us. Through carefully planned activities and sessions, you’ll immerse yourself in a journey of self-discovery.  

A group of people seating around the U-shaped table and holding hands

During the time away, we will encourage you to switch off from the busyness and stresses of every-day life. You are here to focus on you. This is the beginning of what I know will be a truly life-changing experience for each of you. 

 “I found the residential days invaluable as they helped us build good solid relationships with our cohort. It is those relationships that have been some of the best parts of this programme as I feel I now have a whole host of experts on so many things, right at the end of my fingertips.”

“The residentials have provided protected time to concentrate on you and your learning”. 

Leaving the residential after two immersive days, you will feel revitalised, hopeful, and excited about what’s to come.  

Bi-monthly study days 

For the duration of the programme, you will meet as a cohort at bi-monthly face-to-face study days at a venue in Central London. Each study day will have a different focus and you will have the opportunity to engage with a wide range of expert speakers. Topics include demonstrating value, inclusive leadership and managing brave conversations. The sessions are designed to be engaging, thought-provoking and inspiring. You will participate in a variety of activities designed to challenge and shape you as a leader.  The study days are a safe place for you to bring your true self and open up to your cohort colleagues.  

“The speakers on the programme are motivational and engaging. The course material is always appropriate”.  

People engaged in conversation in study room.

As part of the programme you will complete a MBTI® Assessment and receive group feedback with me. I am a certified Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI®) practitioner. The assessment will help build a foundation for personal and professional development. It will allow you to understand individual differences and strengths working within your teams and will help you understand yourself, your behavioural motivations, and the impact you have on others.  

The support you’re given on the programme doesn’t just come from us and your cohort. You will also be paired with a mentor who will assist you with your development as a leader both in organisations and your ability to lead others. They will also help you to focus on your career aspirations and development.  

“I have loved the support of the facilitators and fellow learners to challenge thinking and transform self-worth.” 

“This programme has been career changing. The knowledge and skills have been practical to apply. The speakers, content and facilitators have been so inspiring and supportive.” 

A group of people outside posing for a photo

Bringing the programme to a close 

At the end of your year-long journey, you will come together with your cohort for a final residential to present the innovative change project that you will have completed alongside the programme.  You will laugh and cry together, support each other and reflect on the journey you have been on as a group.  

Ending the programme on a high at a Gala Dinner, you will be able to dress up to celebrate your achievements and reflect on your transformative experience.  

The programme might have ended but the connections and friendships you have made along the way will remain. You will walk away with friends and professional connections for life. 

“This was the course I never knew I needed. Having completed it I will be encouraging others to participate. I’m truly thankful for the opportunity to do it. I am confident it will lead to new opportunities in nursing”. 

“I have made friends for life who will encourage and support the next part of my journey”. 

A photo collage from the QNI awards ceremony featuring attendees and awardees

Looking to the future 

As a graduate of the QNI Ambition to Lead programme, you will be invited to the QNI annual awards ceremony to celebrate your achievements with your fellow cohort and other QNI award winners.  

Furthermore, you will also be able to join our leadership programme alumni network. You will meet other programme graduates for fantastic networking opportunities, shared learning, and career development support, ensuring your growth continues long after the programme ends. 

Are you ready to apply?  

Ready to embark on this transformative journey? We would love to receive an application from you!  

Find out more about the Ambition to Lead Programme and be sure to drop-in to one of our information sessions to ask any questions you may have.  

Applications will close on Monday 6th May at 11.59pm so don’t hesitate to apply!  

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