Career advice

Stress puts off nurse directors from going for the top job

A recent report shows nurse directors are reluctant to take on chief executive roles because of the high personal cost
Executive stress

A recent report shows nurse directors are reluctant to take on chief executive roles because of the high personal cost

Picture: iStock

The chief executive role might be seen as the pinnacle of achievement for any executive working in a trust, but there is growing evidence that suggests many are reluctant to step up to the role.

It is estimated that one seventh of chief executive roles are vacant or filled by interims, and the average tenure of a chief executive is under three years.

A King’s Fund and NHS Providers report – The Chief Executive’s Tale – includes interviews with 12 departed or retiring chief executives. While they found it a satisfying and enjoyable job where they could make a difference to people’s lives, it was also extremely stressful.

Stressors ranged from dealing with ‘mob-handed’ regulators, the continual pressure of being

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