We need to speak up about why being a nurse is fantastic

England’s new chief nurse Ruth May believes this message is key to recruitment and retention 
Ruth May

England’s new chief nurse Ruth May believes this message is key to recruitment and retention

When Ruth May got the news that she had landed the top job in nursing, she was with her daughter Lucie. ‘She was running around the room, very excited – “Mummy’s a CNO!”.’ Lucie, eight, of course had no idea what a chief nursing officer for England does; her excitement was a sign of her enthusiasm for all things nursing: ‘She identified mummy being a nurse.’

Dr May recalls this happy moment after showing me a photo on her tablet computer of Lucie proudly wearing the new children's gender neutral uniform, part of an initiative in primary schools that she hopes will open young minds to the possibility of a career in


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