Howard qualified as a registered nurse in 1988 and held a variety of nursing posts in England and the United States. He studied social policy in Cardiff (BSc Econ) and industrial relations at Warwick (MA) and has worked as a personnel and organisational change manager in the NHS.
Howard has held a variety of posts at the RCN, including regional officer and as a national policy adviser for workforce research and health policy. He has worked for the New Zealand Nursing Organisation and the International Council of Nurses in Geneva.
Howard also served as a local government councillor for seven years, for five of which he was Cabinet member with lead responsibility for corporate and customer services.
In 2005, he was appointed Head of Policy at the RCN and Head of Policy and International in 2010. His department works with a wide range of stakeholders, including Government and think tanks, on the development and implementation of policy at home and overseas to ensure nursing influence and voice. The department also leads on supporting the RCN’s sister nursing associations and alliances internationally.