Managing the unmanageable? Nurse Executive Directors and new role developments in nursing
This paper offers a unique insight into the factors affecting the functioning of the Nurse Executive Director(s) and their views on the realities of nursing management in the new National Health Service in England. It is based on the findings of the Exploring New Roles in Practice (ENRiP) project which was carried out for the Department of Health. As part of this project interviews were undertaken with Nurse Executive Directors from a 20% sample of acute hospital trusts in England. The interviews were designed to explore the Nurse Executive’s perceptions of the process of new role development. The findings highlight a tension between the drive for professional development and the pragmatics of service delivery in a health care system which lacks dedicated funding for nursing development. It was evident that most Nurse Executives vacillated between responding either in an ad hoc way to internal and external pressures or leading and supporting managed development.