Ruth May is the Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) for England and an Executive/National Director at NHS England and NHS Improvement. She was delegated CNO for England on 7 January 2019, succeeding Jane Cummings. Her job came to open consideration during the 2019-20 COVID-19 pandemic.

She was CEO of Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King's Lynn, and CEO of Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust. She additionally filled in as chief of nursing at Monitor from 2015 to 2016. From April 2016 to 2019 she filled in as official chief of nursing at NHS Improvement.

After different nursing jobs she filled in as a theater sister at Frimley Park Hospital. She became acting Chief of Nursing at Barnet Hospital then held the role of Executive of Nursing and Vice President official at Havering Primary Care Trust.

She drives the NHS's "Stop the Pressure" battle, to lessen the frequency of weight ulcers in clinic in-patients.