The Learning Disability Aspiring Leaders Fellowship

This is an exciting development opportunity for aspiring leaders and early career frontline registered learning disability nurses:

  • structured around the FoNS Creating Caring Cultures model
  • open to RNLDs who are between 6 months and 5 years post qualification at the start of the programme (working in any health or care setting – currently England only)
  • includes virtual workshops, follow up facilitated active learning sessions, mentorship within the organisation, mentorship at a regional/national level (career planning) and a small bursary

In this programme, FoNS supports participants to begin their leadership journey by creating opportunities and space for reflection, discovery and learning. The programme equips participants with the skills and confidence to develop into the facilitative leaders of the future. It includes mentorship and coaching support at a local and regional/national level as well as personal development planning and enables participants to realise their leadership aspirations and develop leadership capacity within organisations.

  • Applicants must be UK registered learning disability nurses who are in the early stages of their career (approximately 6 months to 5 years post registration) at the commencement of the fellowship
  • Applicants must have an executive sponsor who should be the Director of Nursing (or equivalent)
  • Applicants will need the support of their direct line manager or matron. You will need time out of practice for the workshops and for meetings and visits etc.
  • Applicants need an internal mentor ideally at a more senior level (eg line manager) to ensure they can maximise the opportunities created by the fellowship. Successful applicants will be required to have regular face-to-face/virtual meetings with the internal mentor to ensure that appropriate support is available internally, in addition to the mentorship support provided by FoNS. This includes prioritising time to meet with the mentor and to undertake activity relating to development and innovation
  • Applicants will need to identify people with lived experience/families/advocacy services to work with. They will need to contact and gain agreement from any persons or groups they wish to work with from the outset of the programme. It is the participant’s responsibility to ensure all relevant consent is obtained in line with their organisational policy

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Making a Difference: The FoNS Learning Disability FellowshipThe FoNS Creating Caring Cultures Fellowship: Making a difference to early career learning disability nurses and the people they care for 

The FoNS Creating Caring Cultures Fellowship, for aspiring leaders and early career frontline registered learning disability nurses (RNLD) is now in its second year. It aims to support early career learning disability nurses to become the facilitative leaders of the future, while working to improve current services.

Four cohorts were planned, starting January 2021 and finishing in June 2022. Supported by the Burdett Trust for Nursing and NHS England/Improvement (NHS E/I), fifty-six participants were recruited and workshops and active learning sessions were facilitated by programme lead Giselle Cope, and facilitator, Dr Theresa Shaw. The evaluation found that over 98% of participants completed the programme.

This executive summary is drawn from the independent evaluation undertaken by the ImpACT Research Group at the University of East Anglia, researched and authored by Carolyn Jackson, Dr Lynn Furber and Daniel Marsden.

View report

Learning Disability Nursing Fellows talk about their experiences:

Daniel BranchLauren BarrettElizabeth MausheAndrea Burrows
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