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Multiple roles: nurses as managers in the NHS

Bolton, S.C. (2003) Multiple roles: nurses as managers in the NHS. International Journal of Public Sector Management, 16 (2). pp. 122-130. ISSN 0951-3558

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Recent government proposals seek to extend the role of nurses into management at a time of (yet another) cultural transformation for the British National Health Service (NHS). This is especially the case for line managers involved in service-delivery, ward managers and clinical nurse managers for instance, roles typically undertaken by senior nurses. This paper aims to give some insight into the role of nurses as managers in the NHS hospital service. Data presented were collected as part of a longitudinal qualitative study, 1994 to date, in a North West trust hospital. The role of ward and unit management has significantly changed since the early images of the nurse as manager and it is hardly surprising that, given the fundamental shift in the framework of values and attitudes, senior nurses have greeted the management role with mixed feelings.