Kelly D, Horseman Z, Strachan FE Strengthening the role of the executive nurse director: A qualitative interview study. J Adv Nurs. 2023;

Raising the profile of nurse leadership

21 September 2023
Volume 32 · Issue 17


Sam Foster, Executive Director of Professional Practice, Nursing and Midwifery Council, reflects on the findings of a study that examined the attributes required of, and the challenges faced by, nurse directors

It is undeniable that being a nurse leader – from shift or team leader to chief nurse – is a role that requires complex skills. I have been reflecting this month, following the recent media reports of significant patient harm, which have been frequently linked to the criticism of nursing leadership. This does raise questions regarding what our profession and wider teams need to consider to support those in nursing leadership roles, as well as how we support and encourage aspiring nurse leaders to realise their potential and make a difference.

At a journal club recently, we considered an article by Kelly et al (2023), which explores the challenges and opportunities facing executive nurse directors (ENDs) in the UK and identifies factors to strengthen their role and support more effective nurse leadership. This was a study that I had participated in, and feel that the findings could be considered across all nursing leadership roles.

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