Nurses complete new CapitalNurse BME Nursing Programme

Three nurses from Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals have completed the North West London (NWL) CapitalNurse BME Nursing Programme. Manika Rai, senior staff nurse in ITU at Harefield, Carol Egbuna, respiratory staff nurse at Royal Brompton, and Faridah Byamagero, surgery staff nurse at Harefield, were three of only 50 nurses accepted onto the programme across NWL.

Launched in November 2020, the one-year programme gives nurses the opportunity to develop new skills to help support their career development. The programme, delivered through monthly virtual sessions, also aims to encourage attendees to identify and implement specific initiatives that help support and promote equal opportunities for career progression at their own hospitals.

Manika, who was encouraged by her manager to apply for the programme, said: “I applied because it was a good opportunity for nurses from the BME community. At that time, I had been working in ITU at Harefield for six years. I like working here, but at times I felt I might be getting too comfortable. This course came at the right time! The topics were interesting and the programme has made me more confident in myself and helped me understand and work on my strengths and weaknesses.”

The programme includes quality improvement training, shadowing opportunities to support networking and learning, an in-depth look at unconscious bias and the tools that can be used to address it, and leadership training.

Faridah wasn’t aware of the programme until she spoke to a career counsellor who recommended it as she was looking for ways to progress in her career. Faridah said: “I didn’t know what to expect when I was accepted onto the programme, but it definitely opened my eyes to the fact there is so much more to being a good leader. For example, self-awareness, and the programme has made me realise who I really am and what my capabilities are much more than what I thought before.

“I am looking forward to making improvements at my hospital and increasing awareness of career development opportunities amongst BME nurses.”

Having completed the programme, Carol feels inspired to find solutions to help make the NHS more efficient. She said: “It was very challenging, but I learnt a lot. Now all I think is ‘How can I improve everything for our patients?’ It also exposed me to more stakeholders at Royal Brompton and Harefield, which has been great. The people I’ve met want to hear your ideas for improvement and help implement them!”

The programme is for band 4 to 6 BME nurses and nursing associates working in NWL.