Identifying the challenges and opportunities of the executive nurse director role in the UK: a scoping review
evidence and practice    

Identifying the challenges and opportunities of the executive nurse director role in the UK: a scoping review

Zoe Horseman Research Assistant, Nursing Studies, School of Health in Social Science, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland
Sharon Hamilton Professor of Nursing, School of Health and Life Sciences, Teesside University, Middlesbrough, England
Helen Noble Reader, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Aled Jones Professor, School of Healthcare Sciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales
Anne Marie Rafferty Professor of Nursing Policy and Deputy Director, Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Palliative Care, King’s College London, London, England
Aisha Holloway Chair in Nursing Studies, School of Health in Social Science, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland
Joanne Reid Director of Research and Chair of Cancer and Palliative Care, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Ruth Harris Professor of Healthcare for Older Adults, Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Palliative Care, King’s College London, London, England
Pam Smith Professorial Fellow, Nursing Studies, School of Health in Social Science, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland
Daniel Kelly Royal College of Nursing Chair of Nursing Research, School of Healthcare Sciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales

Why you should read this article:
  • To understand the role of executive nurse directors in delivering the nursing agenda

  • To enhance your knowledge of the challenges and opportunities experienced by executive nurse directors in undertaking their roles

  • To recognise the importance of further developing the evidence base to support the executive nurse director role

The executive nurse director role is complex and there is significant variation in the expectations and responsibilities placed on it. The main function of the role is to deliver the nursing agenda and ensure that safety and quality remain the focus of the executive board. However, it is unclear what evidence exists regarding the challenges and opportunities experienced by executive nurse directors. This scoping review, undertaken as part of the Stronger Study, explores the literature published from 2009 onwards on the challenges and opportunities affecting executive nurse directors’ ability to deliver the nursing agenda in the UK. Findings from the review suggest that the importance attached to the executive nurse director role is not matched by the amount of research available. Strengthening the executive nurse director role requires a stronger evidence base and an awareness of the benefits of the role.

Nursing Management. doi: 10.7748/nm.2020.e1948

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software

Correspondence

kellydm@cf.ac.uk  Pam.smith@ed.ac.uk

Conflict of interest

None declared

Horseman Z, Hamilton S, Noble H et al (2020) Identifying the challenges and opportunities of the executive nurse director role in the UK: a scoping review. Nursing Management. doi: 10.7748/nm.2020.e1948

Published online: 15 October 2020

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