Nurse leadership

Foreword – Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer, England

One of the most rewarding parts of all leaders’ roles is spotting and nurturing talented people to help them achieve their career aspirations and maximise their potential at work. We all acknowledge that the nature of leadership is changing and that successful leaders in the next decade will require different skills and approaches to be successful. We also recognise that there is currently a shortage of talent pipelines to fill our business critical posts.

In this context, talent management has become integral to the success of all health and care organisations; it ensures system-wide resilience and business continuity by identifying, developing and deploying high potential future leaders.

With a recognised shortage of executive nurse leaders across the NHS in England, I am driving forward a talent management pilot in the South Region to build a sustainable talent pipeline to fill executive level nurse leadership posts in collaboration with colleagues from Health Education England (Lisa Bayliss-Pratt), NHS Improvement (Ruth May) and NHS England (Lynne Wigens and Hilary Garratt). We will ensure this work is aligned with national talent management strategies and approaches as these are developed to ensure our approach is sustainable.

Our single, system-wide approach builds on existing good practice, tools and programmes. Talent pipelines will include midwives, associated healthcare professionals (AHPs) and deputy directors of nursing from all relevant health and care settings. This approach will:

  • remove unnecessary development time and costs;
  • help develop and test a common language and approach across the wider health and care system to create consistency;
  • maximise potential resource pools;
  • embed best practice;
  • support newly appointed DoNs; and
  • ensure account is taken of the changing role of directors of nursing (DoN) as new models of care are tested and established with a particular focus on integrated workforce structures to address population health issues, requiring leaders with a greater breadth of knowledge and experience of the system as a whole and collaborative leadership capability and behaviours.

Please see Director of Nursing Talent Scheme - Feedback from engagement events and recommendations for more details about the analysis and business rationale for this work to date.