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The NHS Leadership Centre is to co-ordinate a management programme to give nurses control over ward staffing budgets and to fast-track them into chief executive posts. As part of the national nursing leadership project, up to 100 senior nurses will join a programme to allow them to compete on equal terms for chief executive positions. Insisting there was a need to see more clinicians in senior management positions, health secretary Alan Milburn pledged that 'there must be no glass ceilings for nurses'.Management of staff budgets of up to£800,000 are to be devolved to ward sisters and staff nurses within the next year.