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History of Nurse First

In 2009, Dave Dawes and Lord Nat Wei met in a chinese restaurant to talk about the problems in community nursing. From that initial discussion grew the germ of the idea that became Nurse First.

The big problem that nobody had seemed to crack is how do clinical staff take a great idea and stop it being trampled to death by middle managers. We thought that there must be a way of solving this and looked at examples from all over the world, from tech incubators in Silicon Valley to social entrepreneurs in sub-saharan Africa. From this exploration emerged the idea of an intensive development programme to give front-line clinical staff the skills, tools and knowledge to take an idea from conception to prototype.

We mixed together ideas about personal development, leadership development, entrepreneurism, innovation, health economics and business skills. We wanted to inspire people who wouldn't take "no" for an answer to speak passionately in front of boards and chief executives and be confident about pitching for hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Dave pursued this and through a coalition that included the Queens Nursing Institute and Bucks New University approached Johnson & Johnson who funded the pilot programmes.

Between 2011 and 2014,the Johnson & Johnson Corporate Citizenship Trust provided £700,000 of funding to help support the delivery of the first four cohorts of the Nurse First programme. More information can be found in the Trust report

Nurse First became a Community Interest Company in June 2013.

The following video is a TEDx Talk where Dave outlines his take on the foundations of innovation:

Dave Dawes TEDx from dave@nursefirst.org.uk on Vimeo.

The programme is open to all healthcare professionals, not just nurses. The programme consists of 21 days of residential development spread over 7 blocks throughout the year and an intensive coaching programme. To find out more about the detail of the programme, please visit the Programme page.