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The missing Cs – some suggested additions to the 6Cs for nurses

I feel ashamed to admit it has taken some time to memorise the 6 Cs as promoted by our senior nurse figures at NHS England.  I presented at a large commissioning event in London last week and chaired and participated in a debate on nurse leadership with a packed room of enthusiastic and energised nurses. Except when I asked how confident people were in knowing the 6 Cs only one or two hands were raised. 

I said it's a simple method of remembering that 2 being Care and Courage and 4 beginning with 'Com' - Compassion, Commitment, Communication and Competence - “there you go - easy” I said and lots of nodding, smiling and writing down this clever memory trigger technique.  However I went on in my section of the scene setting before the debate opened up to ask what about the other potentially equally important Cs?

Capacity - having the time to do the right things well and have fun and exercise pride in our work  

Credibility - being seen as strong and determined skilled ambassadors for nursing and being kind and proud of what we do

Clarity - being certain of our roles, extending ourselves and one another in a culture of improvement

Collaboration- working with others including patients and their families primarily as much as other disciplines and organisations

Calm - maintaining a smiling positive aura and disposition even when under intense pressure and challenge

Confidence - exuding capability (another C I've sneaked in here) without appearing unduly competitive (a C we may not want to include although there could be an argument that not all competition is a bad thing!) or arrogant.

Cheerfulness - perhaps the most important C of them all it could be claimed - I'm a huge fan of my staff smiling and showing they are enjoying their jobs and demonstrating an attitude worth copying 

You may well have some further Cs you think we might want to promote and encourage - I think the list is not exhaustive - if, like me, you spend time supporting, coaching and mentoring staff either in formal training or teaching settings or as a leader perhaps exploring the views of new and developing nurses based on the 6 Cs might be a useful way to inspire and empower others.  I bet they can come up with a few Cs too - please share your Cs on a postcard or email - I'd be keen to assemble a fuller feature to share more widely   

George Coxon, RMN -  or twitter @coxongeorge