The Emerging Nurse Leader program through the Australian College of Nursing – an experience of a path to professional and personal extension

Ms Emma Bugden1,2

1Flinders University, Alice Springs, NT

2Menzies School of Health Research, Alice Springs, NT


In the context of the challenges of providing quality and effective healthcare in rural and remote areas, innovative and committed leadership is integral to making the best use of available resources and finding ways to connect meaningfully with the population. The Emerging Nurse Leaders (ENL) program through the Australian College of Nursing allows nurses early in their careers to extend their leadership skills through a variety of well chosen challenges. Support is provided through ACN staff and the selection of a mentor from the Australian nursing community. In 2017 the presenter was a stage three candidate ENL and completed the program with a High achiever’s award. In this presentation she will discuss her experience including:

• spending time with nurse leaders in their work environment and gaining an understanding of the activities, strategies and structures involved in their daily routines – including the ethos and commitment guiding their practice.
• the opportunity to see how nursing policy and guidelines are discussed at an executive and national level
• engaging in a professional mentoring relationship
• acting as an informal mentor and career coach
• engaging in interprofessional collaboration
• contributing to nursing knowledge through engagement with conferences and journals
• encouraging nurses throughout SA and NT to embrace leadership at all levels

Nurses reaching individually and collectively their potential as leaders in the workplace and community provides capability for our healthcare system to be compassionate, effective and responsive.


In 2017 Emma Bugden was awarded the Gayle Woodford scholarship and graduated with a High Achievement award from stage 3 of the Emerging Nurse Leader(ENL) program. She is the Chair of the ACN NT South region leadership group and a candidate for stage 4 of the ENL program in 2018. Emma has worked in Central Australia for Flinders Uni, Menzies School of Health Research and the Alice Springs Hospital. Having raised two children, with has a background in nursing and ethics, she is committed to inspired leadership, effective and supportive management, building strong communities and rural and remote nursing practice.