Blog: Andrea reflects on her first week at the NMC

In the first of her regular blogs, our new Chief Executive Andrea Sutcliffe talks about starting her new job and what her approach will be

New Job

I think we can all agree that starting a new role can be daunting – not just worrying if you can do it but getting to grips with the IT; learning new names; finding out where the loo and the kitchen are! It doesn’t matter who you are, a newly qualified nurse, a midwife moving to a new team, your first management job or the Chief Executive of the Nursing and Midwifery Council – the nervous anticipation is probably very similar.

I’m sure you can imagine how I was feeling as I stepped through the door of 23 Portland Place last Monday morning.  I need not have worried – I have been made to feel very welcome and by the end of the week, I felt really at home. 

I started with a quick tour of our London offices with a video link to Edinburgh too, sharing my motivation for joining the NMC and my approach to my new role.  My motivation is simple but powerful for me – the role of the NMC in supporting nurses, midwives and (later this month for the first time) nursing associates to provide safer, better care is so important and I am delighted to be here.  I know that there is a lot we can do to improve and I am excited to be working with the Council and NMC team to do just that.


I used the letters of my name to describe my approach – self-centred I confess, but it seemed to work!

I will be Active – I plan to get out and about to be visible not just within the organisation but across the UK, in all the health and social care settings where nurses, midwives and nursing associates work, as well as with the public and our partners in national organisations.

I’m also Natural – I don’t stand on ceremony and I am very happy to start a conversation with cats, films, football, whatever helps to make people feel comfortable to then talk about more important topics or concerns.  Being inclusive and celebrating our diversity is also important to me.

You will find me pretty Determined – there’s a lot to do and I will work hard to make sure we achieve our objectives.

I hope you will also see I am Responsive – I recognise I don’t have all the answers so listening, learning and responding to everyone’s good ideas will be important.

I am Enthusiastic – I’m very excited to be here and enthusiastic about the difference the NMC can make.

And finally, I am Ambitious – not for me but for the organisation; for the NMC to be a fantastic place to work; for nurses, midwives and nursing associates to be supported by us to provide great care; and for the millions of UK citizens who use health and care services every day and deserve to have the safest, best care.

Listening Mode

Key to this is making sure I have the opportunities to meet people so I can hear what you are saying and what we need to do.  This isn’t for show, I really mean it and in my first week I listened in to calls to our Contact Centre; joined the Midwifery Round Table discussing the midwifery education programme; and as the guest of the Chief Nursing Officer for Scotland, Fiona McQueen visited NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and the Golden Jubilee Foundation Hospital to learn about their work on integration and to see some fantastic nursing care.  All these opportunities gave me a great insight into our work, our challenges and our opportunities for the future. 

At the beginning of the week I shared with NMC colleagues how the story of Edith Cavell, the nurse celebrated for saving the lives of soldiers on both sides of the First World War, had inspired me as a young girl and at the end of the week I was inspired yet again by the nurses I met in Glasgow.  As I step through the door of Portland Place again for the start of my second week, I no longer feel daunted, I am raring to go!

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