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Assistant Director of Nursing

Leadership & Management
Career Pathway

Career Directions

  • Public Health
  • Commissioning

Area of Practice

  • Children's Nursing
  • Public Health Nursing


  • Community/Primary Care
  • Commissioning

Job/Role Summary

  • Provision of nursing advice in all aspects of community care, children's issues, and family practitioner services.
  • Provision of nursing advice on child protection matters.
  • Participation in commissioning, strategic planning and monitoring of services.
  • Provision of nursing input to the evaluation and review of current and proposed services and projects.
  • Manage specific project nursing and multi disciplinary exercises.


Specific qualifications and experience required

  • R.G.N.
  • Specialist Community Public Health Nursing - RHV.
  • 3 years experience as an 'I' grade Nurse Manager.


Career Milestones

The most significant posts that have shaped my career include 10 years as a Health Visitor, 4 years as a Nurse Manager and 2 years as a Nurse Commissioner. All the posts have created many opportunities and challenges, which have shaped my growth in personal and professional development.

I have always been interested in developing new initiatives and improving services for patients/clients, especially children and families.

I feel that studying for my Degree in Health Studies and MSC in Health Promotion allowed me the opportunity to develop research skills, as my interest is in evidence based practice.

My participation in the Women in Management course (The Beeches) and the DHSS/Queen's Institute Leadership Programme helped me to consider my current role, analyse my strengths, weaknesses, and skills and help shape my career development.

Another significant opportunity that shaped my career was when I held a nursing post on the Local Health and Social Care group for 2 years. That post was an introduction for me to nurse commissioning and planning of services. It was an excellent preparation for my current role.


What attracted you to this job?

  • The opportunity to be involved in the shaping and development of services.
  • The opportunity to develop skills in commissioning and strategic planning.
  • The focus of the post was on children and community care.


Enjoyable aspects of the job/role

  • Working in a positive, supportive, creative team.
  • Every day presents 'new challenges'.
  • Close working relationships - 'a multidisciplinary and interagency approach to care'.


Challenging aspects of the job/role

  • Short term/non recurrent funding of projects/posts make the sustainability of new initiatives difficult.
  • Time management – it is important to plan for ‘office time’.


Important success factors

  • My nursing and planning colleagues have considerable commissioning experience and provide mentorship, support and supervision as required.
  • My previous experience in the world of family focused public health (practice, management and education.)
  • The development of networks to support and shape my current thinking and nurture my creativity.


Advice for those considering the type of job/role?

It is important to seize the opportunity to be involved in any sort of changes or developments within your existing organisation. This will provide valuable learning experiences for you and help in your professional development.

You should arrange to spend some time with a Nurse Commissioner or a Planning Department to gain an insight into the work they do on a daily basis. You should express a keen interest to be involved in any Nursing Projects/Developments in your area.

You should try and become involved in multidisciplinary partnerships/interagency partnerships, using every opportunity to network when you can. These relationships are important and you can learn a lot from colleagues in other disciplines.


Key skills that can be gained within this job/role?

  • Skills in commissioning of services and strategic planning.
  • Public Health Project Management skills.
  • Non executive power and influencing skills.
  • Service development skills.
  • Skills in monitoring and evaluation of services.


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