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CNO's BME group on lookout for new chair as Joan Myers set to depart

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Senior nurses are being encouraged to apply to lead the chief nursing officer for England’s black and minority ethnic strategic advisory group, which will see its current chair Joan Myers step down later this year.

CNO Jane Cummings said the role offered an “exciting opportunity” for a nurse leader who was “committed to ensuring that we continue to develop and build a workforce that represents the communities we provide care for at every level”.

“Joan is an inspirational leader and a compelling public speaker”

Jane Cummings

In a blog post, she paid tribute to Ms Myers who has been in post since 2012, describing her as an “inspirational leader”.

She urged directors of nursing or those in an equivalent role to apply to become the new chair, which she said would be expected to influence senior colleagues on a national level about BME issues.

“Joan Myers has chaired my CNO BME strategic advisory group for over four years and has done a fabulous job. Joan is an inspirational leader, a compelling public speaker and someone I always describe as being a constructive, positive and ‘a cup half full’ person,” said Ms Cummings.

Joan Myers

Joan Myers

Joan Myers

“We are now advertising for a new chair…The successful candidate will have a track record of delivery of improvements in diversity and inclusion,” she added.

The responsibilities of the postholder will include helping to build inclusive nurse leadership through career development initiatives, and providing a clear narrative about the importance of inclusive working cultures for both patients and staff.

It will also involve contributing to the programme of work launched nationally across the NHS in 2015 that requires organisations to report and publish data comparing the treatment of BME staff with white workers – known as the Workforce Race Equality Standard.

As previously reported by Nursing Times, the chair will be supported by an expanded team comprising a group of newly-created regional posts.

At the CNO’s annual BME strategic advisory group conference in October, it was announced that four regional BME nursing strategic leads will be appointed to cover the South of England, London, the Midlands and East of England, and North of England.

Applications to become the chair of the group are being accepted until 10 January.

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