Fanning the Flames of Our Future Leaders

Ms Dana Gray1, Ms Erin McLeod2, Ms Cat Schofield1

1Department of Health, Hobart, Australia, 2Tasmanian Health Service , Hobart, Australia


The Nightingale Challenge was an integral part of Nursing Now’s aim to improve health globally by raising the profile and status of nurses and midwives.  As a signature event during the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, the Nightingale Challenge asked every health employer around the world to provide leadership training for a group of their nurses and midwives.

The Tasmanian Office of the Chief Nurse and Midwife, in partnership with the Tasmanian Health Service, accepted Nursing Now’s Nightingale Challenge and a simple idea grew into a powerful and unique journey of leadership evolution for the 27 nursing and midwifery participants.

A customised series of internationally facilitated webinars with the Advisory Board presented evidence, case studies and outcome data from around the world to demonstrate what is possible when we overcome the impossible in the fields of; workforce resilience, care pathways, diversity, inclusion, and integrated health systems.  The webinar experience was consolidated with a multi-day practice development workshop facilitated by passionate local health care leaders.

The intensity and uniqueness of the practice development workshop provided a supportive environment that allowed participants to explore and grow their personal leadership style.  This was where the magic happened, and the passion and potential of our future leaders was showcased through the sharing of innovative, creative, and inspiring projects.


Collectively, Dana, Erin and Cat have 85+ years of nursing experience working in a variety of nursing roles.   Their career trajectories are diverse, but they share a common passion for their profession, a commitment to excellence and an innate desire to positively empower nurses and midwives.  They recognise the need to lean into the uncomfortable and see challenges as opportunities to support and positively lead change in our health care system.