HomeOctober 2020Clinical leadership is responsibility of all nurses and midwives

Clinical leadership is responsibility of all nurses and midwives

Clinical leadership is key to the delivery of safe effective care and is the responsibility of all nurses and midwives, regardless of their grade, role or position, writes Marie Kilduff, Interim Director, The National Clinical Leadership Centre for Nursing and Midwifery, (NCLC), Office of the Nursing and Midwifery Services Director, HSE.

Marie Kilduff
Marie Kilduff

It is imperative that all nurses and midwives engage in clinical leadership development to enable them to lead themselves, lead others and to contribute to the leadership processes in their organisations.

The NCLC supports clinical leadership development for all nurses and midwives through its:

  • Clinical Leadership Competency Framework
  • Clinical Leadership Programme Pathway
  • Development Programmes and Initiatives

Clinical Leadership Competency Framework (CLCF):

The CLCF is an individual, flexible resource that supports Nurses, Midwives and Health and Social Care Professionals to assesstheir clinical leadership competency and plan and develophow they can enhance their identified strengths and meet their leadership requirements. The framework comprises seven clinical leadership competencies and offers the user access to a suite of leadership resources, while also linking them to a digital professional development plan to assess and record their learning. The CLCF is available in the course catalogue on www.hseland.ie

NCLC Clinical Leadership Programme Pathway:

NCLC Clinical Leadership Programme Pathway
NCLC Clinical Leadership Programme Pathway

The NCLC Clinical Leadership Programme pathway offers nurses and midwives the opportunity to engage in a programme that has been developed for their nursing or midwifery grade. NCLC programmes are designed to offer participants the opportunity to identify their specific leadership development needs, engage in shared learning while using the leadership support from programme facilitators to enhance their personal and professional leadership development.

In addition to the programmes offered on the NCLC Clinical Leadership Programme Pathway, the NCLC offers additional programmes and supports such as the NCLC Mentoring Programme and Mentoring Implementaton Framework, the Facilitators Education Programme to name but a few.

NCLC Development Initiatives:

The NCLC offers opportunities for leadership development through initiatives including the following:

NCLC Leadership School

In 2019, the NCLC delivered a two day Influencing Future HealthcareLeadership School to 45 Directors of Nursing and Midwifery. The school provided an opportunity for senior nursing leaders from all disciplines and senior midwifery leaders to come together for the purpose of leadership development and shared learning.  The school provided aforum for discussion, collaboration and sharing of ideas as to how nurses and midwives can influence the delivery of healthcare now and into the future. The feedback demonstrated that this was an extremely successful event.

NCLC ONMSD Florence Nightingale Challenge Programme

As part of the Nursing Now Campaign, Dr Geraldine Shaw, Nursing and Midwifery Services Director, ONMSD and the former Chief Nursing Officer, Dr Siobhán O Halloran, Chief Nursing Office, accepted the Florence Nightingale Challenge for Ireland. This global initiative aims to support the clinical leadership development of 20,000 nurses and midwives in the early stages of their career, worldwide. As part of the Irish challenge, the ONMSD and CNO have developed two distinct leadership development programmes. The NCLC is leading on the ONMSD programme for 15 participants, while the remaining five participants will engage in the CNO programme. The NCLC ONMSD programme had over 100 applicants and the 15 successful participants began their programme on October 8 2020. The NCLC team look forward to working with this group of highly motivated talented nurses and midwives as they engage in their personal and professional clinical leadership development programme.

The Florence Nightingale Scholarship Programme

In 2017, the NCLC began sponsoring senior nurses and midwives to participate in this prestigious scholarship programme. The first two Irish Scholars, Ms Eileen Whelan, Florence Nightingale Nursing Scholar and Ms Mary Brosnan, Florence Nightingale Midwifery Scholar, graduated in 2019. Both Eileen and Mary found their experience of participating on this programme to be excellent and they are not only using their learning in their own role but they are also sharing their learning to benefit others, through NCLC leadership programmes and initiatives. There are currently 6 senior nurses completing their Florence Nightingale Scholarship programme.

Nursing and Midwifery Clinical Leadership during Covid 19, Sharing the Learning Webinar Series

Nursing and Midwifery Clinical Leadership during Covid 19, Sharing the Learning Webinar Series
Nursing and Midwifery Clinical Leadership during Covid 19, Sharing the Learning Webinar Series

During Covid 19, the NCLC recognised the significant clinical leadership that was demonstrated by nurses and midwives of all grades across Ireland. The NCLC team wanted to provide an opportunity for our colleagues to present and share their learning.

In order to achieve this, the NCLC in collaboration with the Chief Nursing Office and the Institute of Leadership, RCSI are presenting a Nursing and Midwifery Clinical Leadership during Covid 19, Sharing the Learning Webinar series. The series runs from September 2020 to February 2021, consists of nine webinars representing nurses from all disciplines and midwives from midwifery services, nationally. These webinars are hosted on the ONMSD/ NCLC website https://bit.ly/2FmFk3A and the RCSI IoL website www.rcsi.ie.  We would like to thank our colleagues from the CNO, RCSI and all the nurses and midwives who have and will present on the webinars.


Further to presenting on the work of the NCLC, I would like to acknowledge the NCLC team members, Catherine White, Ann Gilmartin, Margaret Williams (Leadership Advisors) and Niamh Mann (Administrator). I would like to thank each of them for their support, expertise and consistent determination to support the leadership development of nurses and midwives nationally. I would also like to thank Ms Caroline O Regan, Honorary Editor and Council Member of the Health Management Institute of Ireland and the HMI for the opportunity to present on the work of the NCLC. The NCLC team and I look forward to continuing this work into the future.