How to master nursing politics

Looking to hone the skills you will need to influence people? The RCN’s political leadership course was built with you in mind.
Leadership course

For senior nurses looking at the next rung on the career ladder, understanding the political environment can be vital to success

Picture: Getty

Following pilots in Manchester and London, the RCN is rolling out a new political leadership programme, targeted at nursing and health professionals at band 8 and above or equivalent. The new course is very different to its predecessor, which was aimed at RCN activists.

We identified a gap, explains the RCNs interim head of education, Anne Corrin. Senior nurses need something to help them understand political structures and processes. We know that there is a shortage of directors of nursing and it is hard to recruit for this role. Our programme is geared towards those who want to get to this level.

How to exert influence

Run over 2 days and costing 1,000 plus VAT with discounts for RCN members

...

For senior nurses looking at the next rung on the career ladder, understanding the political environment can be vital to success


Picture: Getty

Following pilots in Manchester and London, the RCN is rolling out a new political leadership programme, targeted at nursing and health professionals at band 8 and above or equivalent. The new course is very different to its predecessor, which was aimed at RCN activists.

‘We identified a gap,’ explains the RCN’s interim head of education, Anne Corrin. ‘Senior nurses need something to help them understand political structures and processes. We know that there is a shortage of directors of nursing and it is hard to recruit for this role. Our programme is geared towards those who want to get to this level.’ 

How to exert influence

Run over 2 days and costing £1,000 plus VAT – with discounts for RCN members – the price includes a pre-course workbook and elements of self-directed learning. The first day concentrates on the individual and the skills needed to be able to exert influence at board level, looking at the theory of system leadership.

The second day focuses on understanding the local context and how to work across different systems. ‘With the integration agenda, how you work outside your own organisation is becoming increasingly important,’ explains Dr Corrin. ‘Health and social care have wholly different ways of working, including language and culture.’

The programme also gives participants the practical skills to be able to work more effectively with their local politicians. ‘We bring in local councillors and MPs, giving participants the chance to use their influencing skills, using a personalised case study,’ says Dr Corrin. The course also includes guest speakers, drawn from current and former politicians and the top table of nursing and healthcare professionals, who share examples of policy making.

Bespoke learning

The programme is flexible, so can be tailored to suit the specific needs and circumstances of every participant. ‘We’re careful to recruit the right people to the course, who are working at the appropriate level in their organisation,’ says Dr Corrin. ‘Once we know who the participants are, the course is written around their backgrounds.’ 

The course will run in Scotland in September and then it will be brought to England, with courses taking place once or twice a year. The RCN already offers well-established political leadership courses in Wales and Northern Ireland. In Wales, the next annual course takes place on 5-6 December 2016 at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff and includes a visit to the National Assembly for Wales. For more details see RCN Wales events or RCN Northern Ireland events

In England, the next RCN political leadership course will take place in October with dates to be confirmed. For more information email or call 0207 647 3485.

Lynne Pearce is a freelance journalist

Want to read more?

Subscribe for unlimited access

Enjoy 1 month's access for £1 and get:

  • Full access to nursing standard.com and the Nursing Standard app
  • Monthly digital edition
  • RCNi Portfolio and interactive CPD quizzes
  • RCNi Learning with 200+ evidence-based modules
  • 10 articles a month from any other RCNi journal

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?

Jobs