Taking care of nurses is a boost for patients and the wider economy

09 May 2024
Volume 33 · Issue 9


Investment in nursing is key to having a healthy workforce and a healthy population. NHS Chief Nursing Officers for Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and England Alex McMahon, Maria McIlgorm, Sue Tranka and Ruth May reflect on policies adopted over the past year aimed at developing the healthcare workforce

As I look ahead to International Nurses Day this year, I do so with retirement in mind. Indeed, I will have retired by the 12 May, so it is a bitter sweet moment for me. My career has been long and varied – but never dull. I have loved every minute of it and I am proud that I chose nursing and, indeed, I am proud to say that I am a nurse.

It's been a blast and I would, if I could, do it all again.

But, looking ahead, there are many challenges in relation to funding for the health and care system in Scotland. This includes recruiting and sustaining a workforce for the future and, in particular, for nurses and nursing. I am proud of the work we have done and are continuing to do here in Scotland, and none more so than the work of the ministerial Nursing and Midwifery Taskforce. We have worked collectively and in partnership with all stakeholders to get to a position of putting forward recommendations, particularly in relation to recruitment and retention, as well as reducing attrition in undergraduate programmes.

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