The high turnover of chief nurses and why it undermines front-line staff

Many directors of nursing don’t get a chance to hit their stride – or champion their staff
Illustration highlighting the 'conveyor belt' of directors of nursing in the UK

Many UK directors of nursing don’t get a chance to hit their stride – or champion their staff

  • With the turnover rate remaining at over 50%, financial pressures and staff shortages as cited as contributing factors
  • Experts fear that front-line staff experience a lack of consistency and coherence
  • How to become a successful nurse leader and engage nursing staff

The high turnover of chief nurses in NHS organisations may translate into a lack of stable leadership and inadequate support for front-line staff, nursing experts warn.

Figures analysed by Nursing Standard show that half of all UK directors of nursing have been in post for two years or less.

Among the 248 NHS organisations in the UK that we surveyed, 51% (126) have permanent or interim chief nurses who took up their post in or


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