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During a period of time as a Nurse Manager/Teacher in an NHS Hospice, I had many opportunities to work with national professional, government and voluntary agencies to develop hospice/palliative care as a nursing speciality and to see services initiated. I then moved to a post as a Macmillan Regional Nurse where my role built on opportunities in my previous job and widened out into general policy and strategic change management. During my time as a Regional Nursing Officer in England I was given further opportunities to lead nursing developments in regulation. (I was appointed a member of UKCC (former body to NMC)) with a remit for Education (moved nursing schools into higher education) and Practice (standard setting). Then as Chief Nursing Officer in the DHSSPSNI I had the opportunity to work with Ministers and Senior Civil Servants to lead health policy and nursing response.
I would encourage a colleague to consider the voluntary sector as a place to make a difference. I would encourage nurses to take on organisational leadership roles and to think about these sorts of roles in their future career development. I would recommend having a clear vision and set of goals that you want to achieve, and to build a team which shares these aspirations.
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