The Aspiring Leaders Programme is designed to support the professional development of nurses working in the community to become future leaders in healthcare, to the benefit of the people, families and communities they serve.

Who is it for?

The programme is NOT restricted to Queen’s Nurses. The programme is open to any nurse working in a community or primary care setting, including the charity or independent sector. The areas of practice include nurses working in district nursing, general practice nursing, community children’s nursing, learning disability nursing, community matrons, community mental health, health visitors, specialist nurses working in the community, inclusion health nurses, care home nurses and all adult social care and nurses working in prisons.

This bespoke programme is a fantastic opportunity for nurses who aspire to take the next step in their leadership career, such as a post as an Associate Director of Nursing. There are normally 16 places available on the programme and the aim is to have an equitable representation of participants from a BAME background. Watch the video below where previous participants share how the programme helped them.

What is it about?

The themes of the programme focus on self-development and personal reflection on compassionate leadership, understanding health and social care structures and a systems leadership approach to improvement and delivering high-quality care. There is an emphasis on leading others and people management during unprecedented change.

Programme delivery

This programme will be delivered utilising a variety of different methods including presentations, facilitation, online workshops, lectures, group work including simulation and visits. These are intended to provide exposure to different ways of thinking and learning and to expand the ability to embrace and think creatively. It is an expectation that participants will receive all experiences as an opportunity to learn and stimulate reflection in order to develop skills further as a nurse leader.

Quality Improvement Project

One of the most important ways in which the QNI and the participants will be able to evaluate the impact of the leadership programme, will be through the learning gained from the development of the Quality Improvement project. Throughout the programme there will be sessions that will focus on the Quality Improvement project work and assist the participant with planning. Participants are expected to take full advantage of these sessions as a way of ensuring that the project is completed over the year of the programme.


Also, all participants will have access to a mentor to assist with their development as a leader in an organisation and their ability to lead others. The main role of the mentor is to assist the participant to focus on their professional career aspirations and development. If you want to get a deeper insight into the programme, the video below shows part of a previous session.

Who is eligible to apply?

  • This programme is open to all nurses working in the community and primary care setting, including care home nurses from England, Northern Ireland and Wales.
  • Applicants must have a minimum of five years’ experience working in a community or primary care setting.
  • Applicants must demonstrate a desire to progress to a leadership position beyond their current role.

How to apply?

Applications for 2022 are now closed.

If you have any questions, please contact our Leadership Programmes team at

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