Health student wins entry into Nurse Leader program

Published 08 May 2017
School of Health student Mitchell Dagger

School of Health student Mitchell Dagger

University of New England nursing student, Mitchell Dagger, has been accepted into the highly-regarded Emerging Nurse Leader (ENL) program offered by the Australian College of Nursing (ACN).

Mid-north coast local Mr Dagger learned about the ENL program and its reputation for branding participants as high-achieving nurse leaders while attending a Power of Now conference.

“At the conference I had insight into some of the programs that the College of Nursing offer. I saw the ENL program as an excellent opportunity to develop leadership skills and learn new things,” Mr Dagger said.

Currently a final-year student with UNE’s School of Health, Mr Dagger was one of 10 students to receive the nationally contested award for Stage 1 of the program.

Mr Dagger completed the rigorous online application process by submitting detailed responses to selection criteria asking about past leadership experience, nursing vision and personal goals.

Applications are assessed by an ACN Review committee and places are offered to the top 10 ranked applicants.

“I was very excited and could not believe that I had been accepted. I am always looking forward to learning new things and firmly believe in taking new opportunities as they come along.”

Participation in the program also fits in smoothly with Mr Dagger’s career aspirations.

“Growing up in a small country town has allowed me to develop a passion for rural and remote health, in particular mental health. I would like to see further development of education and access to mental health services in these areas. I believe that this will assist in removal of the stigma surrounding mental health. I would also love to be involved in promoting health literacy and education in rural and remote areas.”

ENL program outcomes are designed to develop skills, to build confidence and provide opportunities for nurses to present the nursing profession as leaders. Activities focus on developing leadership skills through a blend of formal education, self-reflection, mentoring and action-based learning opportunities. It is a self-paced nine-month program, based on adult and action learning principles.

After graduation Mr Dagger plans to work as a new graduate nurse in Coffs Harbour.

“I hope one day to pursue a career in a critical care setting or in mental health.”