New chief nurse is ‘ambassador for whole profession’

Karen Bonner to join Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust 

Karen Bonner to join Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

Karen Bonner begins her new role at the end of March

Karen Bonner has been announced as the new chief nurse of Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust.

This makes Ms Bonner one of only 10 chief nursing officers from a black and minority ethnic (BME) background in England, which accounts for just 4% of all chief nurse positions in the country.

She will take over on 30 March from Carolyn Morrice, who was in the position for six years.

New role in addition to trustee and advisory work

Ms Bonner, who qualified as a nurse in 1995, is currently divisional director of nursing at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

She is also a trustee of the Mary Seacole Trust and a member of the Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) advisory board.

Speaking about her new role, Ms Bonner said: ‘It’s an opportunity for me to work in an organisation that's an intergrated acute and community trust.' 

Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust serves a population of 500,000. However, its spinal injuries care serves a much larger population of 14 million, and its burns and plastic care serves 1.5 million.

Having mentored and encouraged nurses in her previous roles, Ms Bonner said she will continue to do the same for people of all backgrounds.

Position may inspire others to aim high, says Ms Bonner 

Ms Bonner said she recognised the importance of her appointment, and that people from diverse backgrounds could see someone in a senior position and aspire to the role themselves. 

‘It gives people hope,’ she added.

Regarding Ms Bonner’s appointment, WRES director Yvonne Coghill said: ‘Karen is an ambassador, a role model for nursing, not just BME nursing but the whole profession.’

Ms Coghill added that diversity, equality and equity must be improved in order to attract more young people into the profession.

‘We now have the data to show that if you improve things for BME people, you improve things for everybody in your organisation.’

In other news

This is a free article for registered users

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this? You can register for free access.