Edward Jenner Programme

Posted : 01 March 2018

Josie McMaster shares her experience of the Edward Jenner Programme, and why some of the best things in life are free.

The Edward Jenner Programme is a leadership development programme designed to help enhance your confidence and encourage you to be a leader. It is offered by the NHS Leadership Academy in the UK, flexible so that you can learn at your own pace, and the best part is that it is free and available to anyone in the world.

From the first encounter I was very impressed with the programme and would recommend it to all nurses!


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I'm fascinated with people, why we do what we do. In 2012, I qualified as a mental health nurse. Mental health nursing felt like a natural path to me, and I cannot put a value on how much I learned from the experience. Before being a mental health nurse I worked as a Psychology Lecturer, teaching from GCSE through to Degree level, and later qualified as a counsellor. In 2013 I transitioned into Aged Care sector and haven't looked back since. As a Senior Nurse in one of Bupa UK's care homes, I am very privileged to be with people during their final days and to be of service, drawing on the therapeutic skills and holistic approach to care I have learned throughout my career.


I became interested in leadership because the Bupa care home I recently joined has been struggling with compliance. Working with the Recovery Team to get the home back on track, I became more and more engaged and motivated to make a difference. I wanted to take action and be part of the change. For the first time in a long time, I felt inspired and wanted to find a good leadership programme to help me in my role.


Not really knowing where to start, I looked on the Our Bupa website list of training options for Bupa nurses. I chose the Edward Jenner Programme offered by the NHS Leadership Academy, mainly because it appeared to offer Continuous Professional Development (CPD) points, and I'm due to revalidate this year. However, there are so many other reasons to choose the programme.

It is an impressive programme! It is totally online, and you work at your own pace. If you like structure, the programme also suggests timeframes for completing sections and there appears to be a 150 day limit for completion. All the necessary resources are provided within the programme. This is great because you do not need to spend time looking for additional information. The materials are straightforward to read and understand and the course builds in time for reflection. For example, at times you are asked to upload your reactions to questions into a private journal or in a forum with the rest of your cohort taking the course with you.  

I am currently half-way through the Programme. From the subjects covered so far, what really stands out for me is the difference between leadership and management. I realise I am much more drawn to leadership and at work, I can relate to the idea that we are all leaders in our own areas. 


The Edward Jenner Programme is fantastic. I would recommend it to all nurses, especially if like myself, you are looking to develop your career to a more senior level.  The insight I have gained has helped me to broaden my perspective on the different aspects of leadership which, in turn, has developed my confidence to express my opinion and make change happen. 


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