Nurturing tomorrow’s healthcare leaders

When Tricia McInnes chose to attend the Clinician 2 Manager Emerging Leaders Program, organised by her employer Grampians Health in 2022, she already had a long professional record in nursing.   

Having worked for 24 years as a registered nurse at both acute and the aged care wards at Edenhope, she was already in a managerial position when she opted to take advantage of the leadership course being offered by her employer.   

For over six months, Tricia and some of her colleagues from Grampians Health’s Stawell and Edenhope campuses attended several sessions about the basics of leadership, with a particular focus on transitioning to a leadership role. Led by renowned consultant Dr Elise Sullivan, the course focused on ways to help clinicians transition to a leadership role and equipped them with resources to deal with situations that managers face daily.  

Now a Director of Nursing at Grampians Health Edenhope, she attributes her professional growth to some of the lessons she learnt through this program.   

“The Emerging Leaders course has given me more confidence in my own ability, and it has been instrumental in helping familiarise myself with strategies to have the difficult conversations and deal differently with difficult situations. The resources were great,” she said.  

The Clinician 2 Manager Emerging Leaders Program is just one of the many learning and development pathways available for staff members at Grampians Health.   

“Many of our clinical staff have years of valuable experience and as a health service, providing them access to resources like the Clinician 2 Manager Emerging Leaders Program can help uncover the next generation of leaders who are familiar with our values, ethos and goals and those of the communities they serve,” said Claire Woods, Chief People Officer, Grampians Health.  

“While we are focused on attracting new people to live and work in the region, we are also constantly looking at ways to engage with our existing staff members and equip them with skills and resources so that they make a real difference in the delivery of care.”  

For Kelly Lee, the course attendance gave her the confidence to take on a bigger role at Grampians Health.   

She initially joined Grampians Health Stawell’s administration department, but soon progressed to other roles. Not too long after she attended the Clinician 2 Manager Emerging Leaders Program, Kelly was confident enough to apply for a bigger role as a Practice Manager at Stawell Medical Centre – a position that she was successful in securing.   

“The Emerging Leaders course taught me to recognise my strengths, weaknesses, and has boosted my confidence as a leader. It has helped me in my new role by providing new perspectives on skills such as effective communication, problem solving, decision making, and time management,” said Kelly.  

Tricia agrees as she says that the training program has helped them to build a variety of skills, often valuable for senior roles.  

“Communication skills, organisational skills, the importance of having time for yourself and self-care strategies are some of the skills I learnt from this course,” she said.   

“I also have more confidence in myself as a leader and my own abilities as a clinician as a whole.”   

Ms Woods says that providing learning and development opportunities for our staff members to evolve will continue to be a key focus of Grampians Health.  

“We are committed to providing high-quality healthcare to the communities we serve and by fostering a culture of growth for our people, we hope to continue to excel in providing exceptional care,” she said.