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CNO to launch campaign to boost retention and protect ‘nurse’ title

Chief nursing officer for England Professor Jane Cummings is set to launch a campaign to boost the recruitment and retention of nurses within the NHS.

As part of the campaign, Professor Cummings will also work with the other CNOs within the UK to ‘review options for a legal change’ to ensure only registered nurses can be called a nurse.

To drive recruitment, 165 nursing and midwifery ambassadors will promote the profession to schools and other potential new nurses, aiming to improve the image and perception of nursing as a career.

They will highlight the wide-ranging career opportunities available in the NHS in a bid to encourage more people to take up nursing or midwifery.

Speaking at her annual CNO conference today, Professor Cummings will explain that a career in nursing ‘has never been more rewarding’.

She will say: ‘We want to highlight through this new campaign that nursing and midwifery provides the opportunity not only for an outstanding career, but the chance to have a profound and direct impact on the lives of thousands and thousands of people in a way that simply can’t be matched.’

Chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Janet Davies said they would be ‘delighted’ to work with Professor Cummings on the campaign in England.

She said: ‘We must do anything we can to attract people to the profession and shake off outdated perceptions of nursing. However, we have a huge task on our hands to recruit and retain the next generation of nurses when the current workforce is shrinking. 

‘Nurses have always been at the heart of the NHS and, in its 70th year, we need to show the nurses of tomorrow they can have fantastic careers that are full of opportunity. It is important that the role and professionalism of registered nurses is protected and we welcome and support NHS England’s plans to protect the title “nurse” in law.’