Case Study: Identifying High Potential Nurse Graduates


We’ve all heard the horror stories in the press, of those few instances when the standards of care exhibited by small number of healthcare professionals have let the system down. Whilst they might be rare, there is a growing realisation that something needs to be done to ensure that every single person working in our healthcare system is living and breathing the values that any patient has the right to expect. At the forefront of efforts to address this challenge are world-class academic health science partnership UCLPartners.

Leveraging support from across their Partner Healthcare Trusts, UCLPartners have accredited a brand new Leadership Development Programme (the Nursing ‘Excel’ Programme). The Programme is designed to take a group of 15 of the most capable nursing graduates, nurturing their potential through a four-year course which will equip them with the skills required to tackle the challenges facing the profession.

It was when facing the challenge of how to identify these 15 super-star nurses that UCLP asked for Mendas’ assistance. They needed a process which was both cost efficient and robust and could also be delivered from start to finish within a short timeframe.

Our Approach:

Quickly spurring into action, we pulled together a core team of our assessment and nursing experts. Consulting with representatives from UCLP’s Partner Healthcare Trusts, we developed a series of assessment exercises designed to provide insight into an individual’s potential to succeed on the Excel Programme. It was a very special type of person we were after, someone who could balance thinking strategically and motivating others, someone who is driven by wanting to deliver top quality care whilst demonstrating the levels of care, compassion and empathy that we rightly expect from our nurses. We couldn’t be afraid to put our applicants through their paces, they had to demonstrate the resilience and commitment to be able to successfully navigate through a competency-based application form, a suite of assessment centre exercises and a panel interview. This gave us (and UCLP) the confidence that we were putting forward the best people for the job.

“I can see the benefits of using this multiple approach to selection for values and potential for nurses as well as measuring other skills. Thanks to you and the team for making me feel so welcome.” - Claire Johnston, Director of Nursing and Performance, Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust


Within three months, we had developed an application screening process, a suite of assessment centre exercises, trained UCLP assessors, facilitated 5 assessment centre days at our specialist assessment facility and identified 15 individuals to be offered a place on the Programme. But our involvement didn’t stop there, we also prepared feedback reports for each successful candidate to help them reflect on their performance at the assessment centre and identify areas to focus their development efforts.

Watch this space for updates to the case study as we see how the successful 15 progress.

“I really enjoyed the exercises and found them to be interesting and relevant. I found all of the staff who assessed me to be approachable and friendly... The day has been structured well and has promoted UCLP very well.” - Comment left by a candidate who attended an event

If you'd like to find out how we can help your organisation assess potential, contact us on email: or +44 (0) 20 7611 0870.

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