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Nurses should be less humble, suggests RCN president


Nurses are failing to apply for and take over leadership roles in the NHS because they are modest about their abilities, according to Royal College of Nursing president Andrea Spyropoulos.

Speaking at the RCN Congress today, she told delegates: “If I could do anything, I would ban the word ‘only’ from nurses’ vocabulary. For 30 years, I used to say ’I’m only a nurse’ until my husband banned me from saying it.

“You don’t hear teachers and doctors saying ‘I’m only a teacher, I’m only a doctor’ and you’re worth 10 of some of those people in those professions,” she added.

“This is why we haven’t got nurses in those leadership roles, because we think it’s not us.”

She told delegates she believed nurses have got the skills to be strong nurse managers and leaders and should be putting themselves forward for these roles.


Readers' comments (2)

  • I agree that nurses do need to value themselves more. But when they do take up senior roles such as the CNO they get absolutely lambasted on here.

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  • Nursing requires tough leadership in order to counter government spin. We need a leader who can fight tooth and nail for us. Someone who is willing to tell it as it is. Unfortunately the CNO does none of these things. Nurses have hardly any respect for the post. government has no respect either. Hardly anyone takes notice of the CNO. That should tell the holder of the post something.

    The profession has been under sustained attack for years. NHS is the last great public service. Government wants to destroy it, Daniel Hannon (MEP) said "it should have been strangled at birth". The CNO job should have been to challenge both nurses and government. To act in an independent manner, and be nobody's fool.

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