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Former NHS trust chief executive to lead nursing education and research charity

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The nurse education and research charity the Florence Nightingale Foundation has announced the appointment of a new chief executive.

It revealed today that its new chief executive would be Ursula Ward and that she will start in the role on 13 February.

Ms Ward noted that she was joining the charity at a time when strong nurse leadership and a strong academic base for the profession “has never been more paramount”.

Her appointment follows the announcement last August that Professor Elizabeth Robb would step down as the charity’s chief executive at the end of January, after seven years in the role.

Bryan Sanderson, chair of the foundation, said: “Ursula brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the role following her extensive NHS career as both a director of nursing and, latterly, as a chief executive for 12 years.

“I am delighted to welcome her and look forward to working with her,” he added.

Ms Ward was most recently chief executive of Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, a position she left in May last year after 12 years in the job.

She was initially joined the trust in August 1999 as director of nursing and midwifery, before being promoted to deputy chief executive in 2002 and then the top job in 2004.

Ms Ward said she was “honoured and excited” to be taking on the chief executive role at the foundation.

“The foundation has greatly contributed to the development of the Nursing and Midwifery Professions over many years,” she said.

“I am committed to working with the board of trustees, the wider NHS, academic organisations and the relevant professional bodies to further build on the many significant achievements of the foundation to date,” she said.

She added: “We are entering a period where strength in nursing leadership and the academic base that underpins it has never been more paramount.”

The foundation raises funds to provide scholarships for nurses, midwives and health visitors to study in the UK and abroad so they can promote innovation and extend their knowledge and skills.

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