Students – learning to lead in health and care

Healthcare systems need good leadership to deliver continuous improvements to the health and care of patients and populations. Leadership can be found throughout organisations; an inclusive process, not based around hierarchies or positions. And, the good news is that leadership can be learned - it is never too early to start.

Through our collaborative work with universities and national organisations such as the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management (FMLM), the NHS Leadership Academy is leading a national drive to embed leadership development in all healthcare professionals’ undergraduate and pre-registration programmes.

As part of this ongoing programme of work, we spoke to a variety of pre-registration healthcare students to understand what leadership meant to them, to explore their experience of leadership development so far and to invite them to offer a few words of advice to fellow students:


If you’re currently a student seeking to explore and understand your own leadership development, talk to your lecturers and tutors today to find out what opportunities to learn to lead are provided by your school or university. You can also have a look at some of the free resources below.

Edward Jenner programme

  • High quality online learning
  • First port of call if you’re looking to build a strong foundation of leadership skills
  • Leads to an NHS Leadership Academy award in Leadership Foundations

Find out more about the Edward Jenner programme

Healthcare Leadership Model

Leadership blogs and films from experts in the field, patients and leaders at every level, including:

Read our inspiring series of leadership blogs here

And for teachers, tutors and other university and clinical staff we recommend you take a look at:

Maximising Leadership Learning in the Pre-Registration Healthcare Curricula: Model and Guidelines for Healthcare Education Providers (Health Education England, 2018)

Resources for medical students and faculty, including an Indicative Undergraduate Curriculum from the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management (FMLM)

Twelve tips for integrating leadership development into undergraduate medical education