Recommendation 203

Coordinating nurse leaders

A forum for all directors of nursing from both NHS and independent sector organisations should be formed to provide a means of coordinating the leadership of the nursing profession.

The Chief Nursing Officer has established the Federation of Nurse Leaders, a national forum that has been established to raise the awareness and profile of the nursing voice at a national level.   Its membership is drawn from various bodies, including the Care Quality Commission,  the NHS Trust Development Authority, Health Education England, Department of Health and Public Health England.  It provides advice, challenge and scrutiny of nursing issues and provides the oversight of the delivery of Compassion in Practice, the vision and strategy and for nursing in England. It is chaired by the Chief Nursing Officer for England and the vice-chair is the Department of Health Director of Nursing.

The Nursing and Care Quality forum, established by the Prime Minister in January 2012, continues to play a role in supporting the Chief Nursing Officer and advising the government on nursing and care quality issues.  It has been active in highlighting the issues which need to be addressed in improving care on the national level. It has promoted the use of technology to reduce bureaucracy, emphasised the need for better leadership and recruiting health and care staff based on their values. In future it will work more closely with the Chief Nursing Officer but will also retain its independent voice.

In addition, the Chief Nursing Officer has a monthly bulletin, an annual conference for Directors of Nursing and a new website launched to coincide with the 65th anniversary of the NHS.  6Cs live! provides a communications hub to enable all nurses including directors to come together, share good practice, concerns and leadership. The Chief Nursing Officer will review in 2014 whether more frequent meetings with directors of nursing from all organisations should take place.


The Federation remains active. Recently the Nursing and Midwifery Council consulted nationally on a revised, draft Code for registrants and the Federation Group responded to this consultation with an agreed view.  The Chief Nursing Officer has, with its membership, kept the Federation Group under review during 2013/14 and will continue to do so to ensure that it captures and considers key professional issues and provides the necessary challenge and support to nurses and midwives nationally.

In addition, the Chief Nursing Officer provides national professional leadership via:

  • An annual programme of personal visits to health and care organisations
  • Production of a monthly Chief Nursing Officer bulletin
  • An annual summit for Directors of Nursing
  • A website (6CsLive!) established to serve as a hub for good practice and innovations
  • Blogs and her Twitter account