Foreword from Nursing Times’ Editor, Jenni Middleton
Welcome to the first ever Nursing Times Leaders supplement. This special publication celebrates nurses and midwives who have been pioneers, entrepreneurs and inspirational role models to their profession.
We were looking for a set of nurses who have changed practice for the better, shown visionary thinking, had a major positive impact and role modeled exceptional behaviours for others to imitate. We also wanted to see nurses whose influence spread beyond nursing to affect the wider healthcare arena, and to feel that the people in this list would leave a legacy – that nursing would have changed for the better as a result of their contribution.
The criteria we chose were broadly based on The NHS Leadership Academy’s Healthcare Leadership Model, and are summarised with information about the judging process.
Editing Nursing Times and running the Nursing Times Awards means that as a team, we at Nursing Times are exposed to the outstanding calibre of nurses across the UK. However, what’s interesting about our Leaders list is that it throws up some surprising names that maybe you (or indeed I) wouldn’t have thought of – an agency nurse who launched a thousand tweets about healthcare to end her feelings of isolation, a second-year student nurse who changed the way people view pressure ulcers, and a mental health nurse who decided to write a novel about the work of a nurse – and won a coveted national literary award.
All our list are leaders in “different” ways according to the judges. They weren’t interested only in people with huge jobs, running major trusts or indeed those who hold senior positions in the nursing hierarchy. They were looking for people who demonstrated a spirit that educates and enthuses.
The judges’ acid test was “Is this person doing work that goes above and beyond what you’d expect from a nurse in that role?”
After a great deal of careful deliberation and impassioned debate they selected a list of nurses who achieve all of that. Between them, these nurses have improved the way patients, from children to the older generation, are cared for in the community and hospital settings, whether they have mental health or physical health issues.
Our leaders’ stories are summarised on the following pages so I won’t repeat their many and inspiring achievements here, but I am delighted to see that learning disability nursing is so well represented – because this aspect of the profession has had to work doubly hard to ensure its voice is recognised. The nurses who are making waves in this arena deserve every bit of this public recognition.
As do all of nurses on this list. Our congratulations – and thanks – to them all on their outstanding contributions to the nursing profession and healthcare.
Jenni Middleton, Editor, Nursing Times