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Fuelling passion: How the Nursing Unit Manager Leadership Program inspired me

Fuelling passion: How the Nursing Unit Manager Leadership Program inspired me

Published By Australian College of Nursing (ACN) , 6 months ago

On 17 July 2023 the inaugural Nursing Unit Manager Leadership Program commenced in Sydney. Over a period of five days, a group of 24 aspiring nurse leaders from around the country engaged in an intensive masterclass led by high-calibre leaders. Program Alumna Alyson Martin MACN has shared her reflections on the immersive experience and how it revitalised her passion while shaping her outlook.


Who am I? What is my reputation and what is my brand?

I believed I had crafted a decent representation of myself on paper in my curriculum vitae up to this point. However, it turns out I was quite mistaken.

Friday 21 July 2023 was a day of equal elation and desolation. It was the formal conclusion of an amazing week in a room full of 24 like-minded individuals at the inaugural Nursing Unit Manager Leadership Program facilitated by the Australian College of Nursing.

It was not the end; it was just the beginning of a world full of what would be awaiting us if we chose to take on the plethora of skills and tools provided to us by a selection of inspiring leaders. We laughed, we were emotional, we were vocal and enquiring. We embraced every aspect of this program that far surpassed our expectations.

No area of Nurse Unit Manager Leadership was left untouched, we interrogated and critiqued under the direction and coaching of these amazing professionals. As a registered nurse with 35 years of experience, I can only liken the feelings within me to what it is like to wake up on a special day. I felt nervous excitement as I was stretched and taken out of my comfort zone. I knew that I was about to emerge into the world with a totally different slant on who I am.

Monday to Friday, each session and each moment took us to another level of management, and it gave us opportunities to celebrate who we are now, where we are going, and who we aspire to be. Role-play, which I generally hide from, was so empowering. It took you from the left lane to the express. It made you look inwardly at what and who you are and how and why you do what you do. I never thought I would value role-play as I do now.

Twenty-four of us entered the room, reminiscent of gems that had been unearthed, and departed with a shared commitment to shaping ourselves into the diamonds we aspired to become. As someone who has been in the industry for a lengthy period, I was proud and excited for the future of nursing. The sense of success and inspiration in the room was palpable. I could feel the passion and commitment to nursing being taken to a higher level. I unapologetically embrace my role as a passionate registered nurse, striving to shape myself into the best version of myself, all the while ensuring I continue to polish and refine my unique persona. I am determined to embody the reputation I aspire to, and I am confident that I am making significant progress toward my goal. Now is the time for me to take action. I have documented my list of goals, and I am actively engaged, far from a state of mere pre-contemplation.

I have podcasts downloaded, books being read and drafts of a curriculum vitae that tells the world who I am now, the exciting present, and where I plan to go, the fantastic future. The sphere of people who matter to me grew during my week at the Nursing Unit Manager Leadership Program. They have enriched my thinking, incited moments of deep reflection, and they constitute the tribe to which I wholeheartedly belong.


ACN’s Institute of Leadership programs support nurses to boost their leadership skills and confidence and reach their career goals. Whether you are just embarking on your leadership journey, aspiring to become a Nurse Unit Manager, Nurse Director or Executive, or aiming to excel in your current leadership role, we are here to support you every step of the way. Head to the ACN Institute of Leadership to learn more

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