CNO warns that nurses are often 'too negative' about the profession

The Chief Nursing Officer claims that nursing staff are often 'too negative' about the profession which is leading to an increase unfilled vacancies.

Professor Jane Cummings, The Chief Nursing Officer in England, told the NursingTimes that while she acknowledges the challenges that face the profession, nurses risk a 'self-fulfilling prophecy' occurring if we aren't more positive about the role.

She explained that rather than focusing on pay and vacancies nurses should be talking about the fantastic work they undertake on a daily basis.


During the annual CNO summit, which took place in Liverpool last week, Professor Jane Cummings announced a national nurse recruitment and retention campaign alongside unveiling plans to protect the title of "nurse".

Earlier this month NHS staff survey results revealed that 58% of NHS staff worked additional unpaid hours and 38% of staff reported feeling unwell due to work-related stress.

Cummings told the NursingTimes that nurses need to have a more balanced view of the profession;

“We run the risk of only ever reporting negative stories".

“I am really clear it is tough and people are working incredibly hard – but the more we talk about how difficult it is, the more it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and people will believe it is really difficult and they think, ‘I might as well stop then'".

“But actually, when you start talking to real people who do this job on a day-to-day basis, yes of course they’ll say it’s hard – because it is – but they will also talk about the benefits are,”

“We talk a lot about pay, we talk a lot about the vacancies – and all of those are real things – but we don’t talk about some of the really fantastic work or the fact the vast majority of vacancies are filled by people working temporary shifts.”

“There is a real risk we just present the negative and we need a better balance,”

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