Since the publication of “Academic Nursing’s Killer Elite” in Journal of Advanced Nursing, David and I have had a fairly steady stream of emails from readers.  We can reveal that not one has been critical of our project or our ‘take’ on the subject  Most of the correspondents have been keen to share their own examples of the excesses and operations of the KE within their own Schools and areas.

It is now time, we believe, for an update.

There may well be machinations and skullduggery that we are as yet unaware of and that deserve to be shown the light of day, albeit in necessarily anonymised terms, so that academic nurses may be forewarned and forearmed.

Many of the reports that we have received are echoes of the practices and attitudes that we described in the editorial, with comments along the lines of ‘Thank you for exposing this.  I thought that it was only ME!’

Interestingly, one of the possible ‘patterns’ that we may be seeing is an odd kind of mobbing overlaid with incestuous cronyism.  In this possible KE manifestation, members of particular ‘interest groups’ or ‘movements’ seem not content with creating their own journals, conferences, ‘societies’ etc, but then move towards creating their own Schools and Departments where only the anointed are appointed.  We would be very interested in hearing from you if this is a strange outlier or more widespread than might be feared.

You can email either of us with your Killer Elite updates, accounts and examples at:   or

As always, ANY examples used will be anonymised and de-identified.  We know that the KE are not exactly a broadminded or forgiving bunch.  We are happy to work with any ‘contributor’ on this point.  We look forward to hearing from you,

Best wishes,

Prof. Philip Darbyshire and Prof. David Thompson