For most patients and the general public, their most significant interface within the hospital setting occurs at the ward level. Here, the professional abilities of the Ward Sister/Charge Nurse – as well as the ward environment – will have a major impact on the experience and outcome of the patient’s stay in hospital. It will also strongly influence the opinion of relatives and friends about the standards of care being delivered in that hospital. Ward managers are expected to demonstrate not only clinical leadership, but also be competent at dealing with the plethora of organisational issues which arise on their ward on a daily basis. As part of a professional response to the public’s concerns around the environment of care within our hospitals and the perception that nursing leadership is not what it was, Welsh Assembly Government have launched a new strategy to re-empower Ward Sisters/Charge Nurses and develop and support the nurse managers/leaders of the future.