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Should directors of nursing/chief nurses wear uniform?

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13 August, 2012

Should directors of nursing/chief nurses wear uniform?

Opinion is divided on whether or not directors of nursing should wear uniform - both among directors themselves and other nurses.

As board directors, should they wear smart business clothes?

Or does this make them invisible to the nurses they lead, and to patients and their families?

What do you think?

 

Readers' comments (33)

  • Who cares, they are rarely on the wards anyway. Do surgical directors wear theatre scrubs?

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  • depends where they work but like Anonymous | 13-Aug-2012 9:03 am says

    Who cares

    i have never seen one of them

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  • Joanna Goodhead

    I have met two directors of nursing. One in a tunic and one in a suit. The one in the suit came over as a bit intimidating. I personally preferred the one in the tunic, it felt like she was one of 'us'. Maybe it wasn't their attire which made the difference. It could just have been that they were two very different women. Who knows?

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  • Joanne, who knows and who cares.

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  • For those who say 'who cares' just take a minute to think about what you are saying. If nurse directors are ignored when developing new organisations there is uproar. Rather than say 'who cares' ask you nurse director if you can shadow them for a day to see what they actually do - you may be surprised. I have never been a nurse director - never wanted to be one, but the ones I do know shout for nursing against the louder voices of medics and management.

    I have no opinion on whether they should wear a uniform or not - let them decide.

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  • scruffy designer jeans and a dyed punk hairdo would be good!

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  • Johanna Goodhead
    I would be very much incline to the hypothesis that the nursing directors were completely different women because the one in the suit was actually a man.

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  • Sydney Emerson RN
    In my facility there are many directors and managers that were scrubs. The different units see their directors frequently,however they are busy with their own jobs. For those who say "who cares" are sending a message of Im not making a decision for the whole staff. At times standing up and moving forward is the right thing to do. I like the directors and managers wearing scrub,to me it shows other nurses "WE are in the trenches just like you.

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  • but they are not in it just like you are they?
    anymore than mr Cameron and you are all in this together. he is in one position and you are in another totally different one!

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  • They should be seen in uniform and practice what they preach.

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  • yes a reality check on the real state of nursing and why to few staff equals poor patient experience

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  • One doesn't need a specfic uniform to represent people in the trenches - those in the trenches should be articulate enough to say what's what to their directors and challenge them if concerns are not addressed

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  • When I recently remarked to our Director of Nursing's PA that we very rarely see her on the wards I was very quickly informed that "She's very busy you know!" - as if we aren't too!
    By the way, she doesn't wear a uniform. Would she come on the wards more often if she did? I don't know. Do I care - yes I do. It bothers me when the troops in the trenches don't know who their leader is, their name, or even what they look like. The best leaders are generally cited as being the ones who get out and about and make themselves known to the troops at the battle front, then they can really support, lead and inspire.

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  • how can anybody be a director of nursing if s/he never appears on the wards, does not know the nursing staff, is unknown to them and never sees a patient? this is not nursing! you can't nurse or even claim to direct it by sitting in an office all day!

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  • Why don't we ask our nursing directors what they think as this is about them. Don't nursing staff have more important things to worry about at the moment. How many nurses even know who their nursing director is anyway? They don't know us and we don't know them. They only appear when told to by some other senior manager.

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  • as there are comments from readers saying they don't know their directors of nursing, i just wonder what the role is if they have no contact with nurses? it certainly does not seem to be equivalent to that of the previous matron.

    presumably these are qualified nurses but not registered as they do not meet the NMC criteria of a statutory number of practice hours per registration period therefore should not wear a uniform. those who wear a uniform would be in a difficult legal position as they would be expected to help in an emergency but it is not legal to practice as a nurse in the UK if they are not registered.

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  • whether we like it or not health is a business, admittedly one which is in the health and people business. As such sometimes you have to walk the walk and dressing in a certain way does present a persona. As to never having seen your Director Nursing, maybe thats because they are working on different aspects of nursing and health than you. The reason they can "speak: on your behalf is they have been nurses, they have given out bed pans, washed faces etc. Just watch undercover boss how many of them work on the coal face. DON's have nurses that work under them, who have nurses work under them etc. information is gained by that upward or downward position. The DON is not the top dog, but a stepping stone up or down they do answer to someone and yes they do care, and want the best for nursing else wise they leave and go into other businesses. It is true unless you "walk" with them for awhile you have no idea what they do. If you think They lack knowledge about your issues them stop whinging and get active and tell them. Oh and if you have time to complain then you have time to try and make management know whats up.

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  • good morning ,
    why do we debate on this topic?is an infection control issue? yes if they come on the wards i would prefer them in uniform .does anyone noticed how unkempt are the surgical registrars and some of the consultants when they come on the ward to see their patient?

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  • tinkerbell

    As regards to what they wear frankly i don't give a damn. If they wear a uniform it should have a logo on it perhaps along the lines 'i'm here to help you. Tell me what you need'.

    If we have no idea what they do, then perhaps we could have a video of the latest meeting they attended and how they are trying to improve things and what actions they are taking to achieve this. If not a video link then some minutes of their meetings could be circulated to all frontline staffoutlining the ACTION they are taking on our behalf.

    They should be getting this information out to the frontline staff because frontline staff do not have the time to find out from them as they are too busy looking after the people and are lucky to get a toilet break whilst on duty.

    We should not be having to chase them around for these answers they should be telling us on a regular basis.

    As for having the time to 'moan' i have been told i have 'excellent time management skills' by my managers, so not only do i 'co-ordinate time to moan' i also 'co-ordinate' time to make my concerns known to the upper echelons. It's amazing what you can cram into a day when you put your mind to it.

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  • We were talking about some of this at work the other day and were wondering how Managers keep up their NMC registration if they don't do any clinical work - does anyone know.

    I met my Director of Nursing when she first started her new job, she came round to each ward introducing herself, she didn't stay long but that maybe because the ward was closed for Norovirus - she was in a uniform - never seen her since though and that must be over a year ago. Mind you I have seen her photo somewhere in the main corridor.

    She must be awfully busy because she now has an Assistant Director of Nursing, in addition to the Medical/Surgical/Acute/Theatre Nurse Managers who are 'supported' by Ward Managers - oh, hang on, I think we also have 'Departmental Managers' who are nurses and let's not forget the Bed Managers and Site Managers.

    That is their chain of command, when they get told off they just pass it down to the next person until it's passed onto us on the wards who end up having to sort their problems out.

    Me, I am just one of the little people who helps keep the NHS going.

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