In this commentary, Thorne and Stajduhar respond to Sharkey and Lefebre's (2017) thoughts on Bringing Nursing Back to the Future Through People-Powered Care by reflecting on the kinds of structural and ideological conditions that have dismantled the traditional root structure by which the nursing profession nurtured its members and optimized their inherent capacity as champions of placing patients at the centre of care. Although the idea of patient-centred care has great popular appeal in the current context, embedding it meaningfully into a transformed healthcare system will require dedicated attention to addressing the attitudes, discourses and leadership mechanisms within which strong systems of nursing can flourish and thrive.