What is it about?

A System Chief Nurse can lead, advise, and impact the success of the nursing workforce. At this time of major health challenges, too many health and social systems, both at government and nongovernmental levels, do not have a Chief Nurse at all, or the role is delegated to a staff position with limited ability to impact the system on the local, regional, national, and global scale. Recruitment and investments targeting CNs are required to resuscitate, stabilize, and invigorate knowledgeable leaders who can transform, inspire, and maximize nursing contributions to assure access and quality healthcare.

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Why is it important?

The integration and utilization of Chief Nurses (CNs) to lead and support complex health systems and health workforce optimization in governments, nongovernmental organizations, and across all health and social sectors is of paramount importance. System Nurse Executives are poised and capable to lead, stabilize, recover, rebuild, and strengthen nursing and health across the world. By committing intentionally to lead nursing from the bedside to the boardroom, health workforce investments can be maximized to strengthen recruitment and retention and mitigate the intention to leave nursing. To enter nursing, continue nursing, or intentionally recommit to lead and power the nursing profession, we can collectively strengthen quality care, and influence impactful change across sectors; this can be achieved locally to globally can be achieved in solidarity


My personal and professional CN journey is highlighted here as an illustration for nurses who lead formally and informally, as they contemplate their own current and future ambitions and contributions.


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This page is a summary of: Reflections from a System Chief Nursing Executive: Intention to lead, International Nursing Review, November 2021, Wiley, DOI: 10.1111/inr.12728.
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