Jackie Smith, chief executive and registrar of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), has announced that she will step down after occupying the role for 6 years.
Ms Smith will be leaving the post at the end of July 2018.
‘It’s been an honour to lead the NMC over the past six years and I am immensely proud of everything we have achieved. Now is the right time for someone else to take the organisation forward,’ said Ms Smith.
‘I want to pay tribute to the staff at the NMC who have worked so hard and achieved so much during my time here. I’d also like to thank the nurses and midwives on our register – it’s been a privilege to work with them and witness the fantastic care they deliver day in day out.’
Her resignation comes at a time where the NMC are losing EU nurses and are currently under scrutiny for their handling of several inquiries, including a report from the Professional Standards Authority on the NMC’s handling of the midwife cases at the Morecambe Bay NHS Trust which is out on Wednesday.
The Morecambe Bay investigation found 20 major failures between 2004-2013 at Furness General Hospital.
However, voices from the nursing profession have expressed their regard for Ms Smith and her achievements in nursing and midwifery across the UK.
‘Jackie has been a powerful advocate for nursing and she has worked tirelessly to make sure the UK’s workforce upholds the very highest standards,’ said Janet Davies, chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing.
‘She has led the regulator with conviction through a period of positive change and, on behalf of all nursing staff, I pay tribute to her for that.’
Recruitment for a new chief executive and registrar will begin soon.