Professional Nurse Advocate Week, 9 -13 October 2023

Date 10 October 2023

This week is Professional Nurse Advocate (PNA) week - a week to explore the role of the PNA. The Faculty of Health, Education and Society has provided PNA education since its launch in 2021.

Emma Dillon

To celebrate national Professional Nurse Advocate (PNA) Week, we thought we would shine a light on the work the University of Northampton’s Faculty of Health, Education and Society (FHES) has been doing since the launch of PNA in 2021.

The nursing team rose to the challenge in 2021 when NHS England (NHSE) called out for Higher Education Institutions to support the launch of a new Level 7 module to provide the nursing workforce with a much-needed safe and restorative programme of education. The PNA module is based on the work of midwifery peers who offer a Professional Midwifery Advocate (PMA) module.

The module is wrapped around the advocating for education and quality improvement (AEQUIP) model, which provides a framework of restorative supervision, development, education and quality improvement, with the focus being on the individual.

The PNA programme provides a safe and restorative online environment over ten weeks for participants to pause, reflect and re-energise, and be able to take away key skills to promote and sustain their own wellbeing and that of others. The module also enables individuals to promote a compassionate ethos to self, the wider team and organisation.

The restorative element of the module has had a significant impact on the physical and emotional wellbeing of healthcare staff, as it has been proven to reduce staff burnout, experiences of stress, and reduce sickness and absences. It has also had a positive impact on organisational and individual job satisfaction which, in turn, has improved the patient and carers’ experience.

To date we have offered PNA/PMA education to 600 individuals, with a further 250 due to work with us during September 2023 – March 2024. The future is looking exciting too, with a sustainable plan to continue with this portfolio.

We work closely with our Northamptonshire partners to meet the needs of the local workforce and to strive for ongoing innovation, as well as working with partners all over the UK to provide the PNA and PMA modules. The Northamptonshire PNA collaborative will be hosting a PNA Conference at the University’s Waterside Campus on 10 June 2024 to celebrate all the good work in the region and allow the PNAs and PMAs to meet and restore in our lovely surroundings.

The team are passionate about facilitating a nurturing and evidence-based module and work closely with national and local needs, alongside the AEQUIP framework. The team has expanded and has multi-professional membership across the FHES and has UON FHES research threaded throughout. The team were invited to participate in the national RCN educational standards for the programme.

To find out more, see our Becoming a Professional Advocate (PA) course page or email

NHS Professional Nurse Advocate logo
Emma Dillon

Emma Dillon is a University of Northampton Senior Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing and is also the module lead for Professional Advocate (Health Professions inclusive of PNA/PMA).