Why we need to embrace modern-day nursing influencers

Influential nurses can be the catalyst for change in healthcare and the nursing profession, and their work on social media needs to be visible and celebrated

Illustration shows four nurses looking forward: as new nurse leaders emerge we need to embrace their message and ideas for change
Picture: iStock

Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole are recognised as important figures in history. The principles of nursing they established will remain forever and are cited by contemporary nursing theorists, such as Virginia Henderson.

However, as nursing evolves, new leaders emerge as the profession adapts to meet the changing needs of healthcare.

Nurse entrepreneurs, influencers and leaders help transform healthcare and the nursing profession

Nurses are natural influencers for patient advocacy. Nurse entrepreneurs, influencers and leaders are transforming healthcare and the nursing profession through content creation, health coaching and creating opportunities to fill gaps between the NHS and broader communities.

These influencers include Dame Elizabeth Anionwu, who pioneered the first sickle cell clinic; Teresa Chinn, who founded We Nurses to connect nurses globally through social media; Sue Tranka, the first chief nursing officer of South Asian heritage; and May Parsons, the first nurse to administer the COVID-19 vaccine.

By embracing historical and modern-day leaders and influencers we can honour their contributions and gain inspiration from them.

Understanding the impact of their work on healthcare is also critical to insights into modern-day aspects of nursing.

Talent management networks for nurses and midwives

We can support this by including teaching about today’s nursing influencers in our nursing curriculums, which will inspire future generations of nurses to step up, lead and innovate.

Nurse leaders have a fundamental role to play in nurturing others to reach their full potential, so it is vital that these role models are visible and celebrated for their work. One way of doing this is to develop talent management networks for nurses and midwives, as Vince Thomas explains in our CPD article Developing a talent management support network for nurses and midwives.

Many of our nursing influencers maintain a presence on social media platforms and following their accounts enables today’s nurses to be informed about the latest initiatives, thinking, and developments in the nursing field.

Most importantly, by disseminating their success stories, challenges and lived experiences, we ensure their work continues to influence nursing practice and inspire others.

Rohit Sagoo, founder of British Sikh Nurses, PhD Student, University of Bedfordshire, and a member of the Nursing Management Editorial Advisory Board

Have you tried RCNi Plus yet?

RCNi Plus offers unlimited access to RCNi Learning, Nursing Management, Nursing Standard, our other specialist journals and RCNi Revalidation Portfolio to store your CPD for revalidation. Use the discount code TRIALPLUS to get it half price for three months. Click here for more details

Nursing Live free tickets