Introducing 2020/21 Florence Nightingale Foundation Scholar Lisa Abbott

The Company of Nurses Charitable Trust with support from the Anne Campbell Memorial Fund are delighted to have sponsored a Florence Nightingale Foundation Scholarship for 2020/21. This prestigious Scholarship contributes to the professional development of future nurse leaders and we are delighted to have supported our first scholar this year.

I would like to introduce Lisa Abbott, so that you can hear about her nursing career so far and the topic that she is focussing on for her scholarship. The Florence Nightingale Foundation enables their scholars to network and learn leadership skills and they are encouraged and supported to travel and meet colleagues who can support their learning. As you can imagine, this has been challenging during this last year. However, I am pleased to see that it hasn’t dampened enthusiasm and, in Lisa’s case, some of the adaptations we have all had to make through virtual communication have accelerated the changes she was making to deliver education to her students.

I had hoped that Lisa would have been able to join us at an event so that she could meet some of you and learn more about the Company of Nurses. We will have the opportunity to meet Lisa as she has agreed to support our Education and Professional Development programme later in the year and I very much look forward to that.

Lisa has added her details at the bottom of her narrative and I am sure would be pleased to hear from any of you who are interested in her work.

Fran Davies



I was incredibly proud to receive a Florence Nightingale Scholarship as an ‘Emerging Leader’, in this very memorable ‘Year of the Nurse and Midwife’ 2020. The sponsorship from the Company of Nurses is so valued and has already led to many opportunities which I have actively pursued.

As Associate Head of School, at Birmingham City University I am already a proud advocate of Nursing and Midwifery, and this opportunity has cemented my commitment to the advancement of the Nursing profession. Throughout my 17 years working at BCU I enjoyed a variety of roles including Head of Department for Children’s and Young People’s Health, Deputy Programme Leader for Children’s Nursing, Senior Lecturer and Lecturer Practitioner. As an Associate Professor, I have many chapters in my portfolio which include being a Children’s Nurse with a passion for intensive care nursing. I have steered projects around employability, transition to qualified practice and been involved in the national RePAIR project. I have joined these two areas together as a PhD student, exploring the experiences of student children's nurses transitioning to newly qualified practice in paediatric intensive care. I lead on all things student experience, which include developing student communities, memorable events and social media.  

As a leader I am particularly interested in developing other people, whether that be through motivating and inspiring them, or encouraging and empowering them to take opportunities. Working within a university has provided me with such a tremendous opportunity to do this, supporting and developing students or academic teams.  

My FNF Scholar project is around Digital Enhancement of Learning. In my interview I was reflecting on the challenges of change in the academic world, trying to move towards a blended approach. The global pandemic certainly helped me achieve my project in terms of the initial wholesale move to online learning. Moving forward, I led a successful bid with Health Education England, achieving funding to set up a Blended Learning MSc in Nursing. I have now set up a digital learning enhancement group with the School, to keep us moving forward in the digital world. There are four stands to the project work which include digital literacy and access, digital learning environment quality and pedagogy, engagement tracking and monitoring and digital inclusion on placement.

Once again, thank you so much for my sponsorship, there is so much to offer being an FNF Scholar.  

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