May 10, 2019, by Emma Rayner

Chief Nursing Officer visits student nurses’ leadership summit in Nottingham

The Chief Nursing Officer for England, Ruth May, has spoken of the importance of teaching leadership skills to student nurses and midwives, at a special European conference hosted by the University of Nottingham.

The EU funded European Junior Leadership Academy for Student Nurses and Midwives works to identify students with an aptitude for leadership and to develop future leaders in the nursing profession.

Ruth May was special guest speaker at the Academy’s International Summit of Nursing and Midwifery Student Leaders on University Park in Nottingham on Friday 10th May 2019. More than 100 nursing and midwifery students from 17 European countries and as far away as Canada, were on campus for the 2-day event to hear from local, regional and international nursing pioneers and share stories of their career journeys and leadership experience.

Chief Nursing Officer, Ruth May speaking at the University of Nottingham

Addressing the conference Ruth May said: “My main priority as CNO is the nursing workforce, recruitment and retention – and future nurse leaders are a vital resource in achieving this goal. I want to address the gaps in provision of nurses, midwives and care workers to guarantee a workforce that is fit for the future. We also need to renew our reputation, our sense of pride in what we do and speak in a collective voice to improve and secure the future of our NHS. It’s also important for us to be part of a global campaign to challenge the stereotypes around the profession and ensure the value of nursing is understood.

“I have huge admiration for this University, for the clinical and academic expertise that students are afforded at Nottingham which is one of the best universities for nurse training in the country. Congratulations on this very important summit that has brought future nurse leaders from all over Europe and the world together.”

The Leadership Academy’s lead at the University of Nottingham’s School of Health Sciences, Stacy Johnson, said: “It was an absolute privilege to have the Chief Nursing Officer with us today. She has been a supporter of the Academy since its inception, hosting a nursing intern last when she was still Director of Nursing at NHS Improvement. She is a true advocate for junior leadership and students.”

3rd year Nottingham Nursing student, Kudzai Muganhiri said: “This has been an inspirational summit and has opened our eyes to the possibilities of how far a career in nursing can take you. As student leaders we have learnt how we can be the force for change and improvement in our profession now and in the future. Meeting fellow nursing students from so many different countries has been very exciting and has brought us all together with huge pride in what we do.”

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