top of page


Florence Nightingale is undoubtedly the world’s most famous nurse and her influence and legacy continue to affect the world today. When Florence died in 1910 aged 90, the international nursing community wished to pay tribute to the life and work of this great nurse. At the International Council of Nurses (ICN) Congress held in Cologne in 1912, Mrs Ethel Bedford Fenwick in her speech at the final banquet proposed that ‘an appropriate memorial to Florence Nightingale be instituted’.  She envisaged an educational foundation which would enable nurses ‘to prepare themselves most fitly to follow in her footsteps’. However, due to the First World War, it was not until 1929, at the ICN Grand Council in Montreal, that the memorial proposal was activated.

The Florence Nightingale Foundation was subsequently established in 1934. Its mission is to pioneer change and improvements in patient and health outcomes, through nursing and midwifery clinical and research leadership, honouring Florence Nightingale’s legacy.

Today it achieves this by enabling UK nurses and midwives to access sophisticated and bespoke leadership development opportunities. The bespoke leadership development programmes ensure the Foundation’s offer remains unique and highly sought after.


Under the leadership of Professor Greta Westwood CBE, the Foundation has achieved exceptional growth over the past five years. Through its diverse membership and programmes, it is reaching approximately 200,000 nurses and midwives each year. It collaborates with organisations including NHS England, Welsh Government, Health Education England, Mary Seacole Trust, THET (Tropical Health and Education Trust, RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art) and the King’s Fund. Recent commissions include programmes for 17,000 newly registered nurses and midwives and 500 international nurses and midwives working in the UK.

At the beginning of 2022, the Foundation was awarded the Great Place to Work accreditation.

In March, the Board of Directors and Trustees approved the latest five year strategy which includes an ambitious plan focused on continuing to enhance the charity’s market lead in leadership development, developing diverse income streams, and expanding its impact and influence globally.

This is an exciting time to join this prestigious organisation and to be part of a dynamic Executive Team who are committed to delivering an inspiring strategy. 

bottom of page