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Clinical educator

Career Pathway

Career Directions

  • Clinical Practice
  • Education

Area of Practice

  • Adult Nursing


  • Independent/Voluntary Sector

Job/Role Summary

Responsibility for facilitating education and practice development in a palliative care setting for in-patients and day-patients. Supporting staff as they develop their practice. Ensuring sufficient expertise exists to provide specialist nursing care within the in-patient unit and day-care facility.


Specific qualifications and experience required

Essential Criteria: Registration on part 1 of the NMC register, 5 years post registration experience, minimum of 3 years experience in palliative care, evidence of ongoing development/ study or teaching in a palliative care setting Desirable Criteria: Some management experience, although this was not specified on the job specification.


Career Milestones

As a student my last placement was in a haematology ward. I knew that this area was where I wanted to work. The environment offered great learning opportunities and there were many role models for me to learn from. The care was complete and constant. You journeyed with the patient from diagnosis, through treatment and at times to the end of their life. One year after registering I was appointed to a post in the haematology unit and remained there for 5 years. I gained many communication skills. I was advised to register at university and complete my diploma, which I did. I then followed on by completing my degree in specialist practice in cancer care. I felt this had been good advice for me. I wanted to gain experience in symptom control for the terminally ill and nursing patients in the end stages of their lives allowing them dignity and hope. I was appointed to a specialist unit and gained 11 years experience there during which time I completed courses in mentorship and practice education. My interest and enjoyment was in teaching. The unit I work in decided to appoint a clinical educator which was an exciting opportunity for the unit and for me when I was successful in my application.


What attracted you to this job?

I had gained experience and skills in mentoring and practice education through courses I had completed and I knew I enjoyed this area of practice. I particularly enjoyed the palliative care setting. Colleagues encouraged me to apply for the post. This was an opportunity to do something new and challenging.


Enjoyable aspects of the job/role

Being able to teach clinical skills in a practice setting and not in a classroom. Seeing students growing in confidence and skill. No night duty!


Important success factors

The support of my work colleagues without whom I would find my work difficult. The support of the education team who continue to encourage me. During my induction I was able to visit other areas of practice with clinical educators which I found very helpful.


Advice for those considering the type of job/role?

You would need to decide whether or not you would be content to be less involved in patient care. This job takes you away from direct patient care and focuses your time on teaching. It can be difficult to adapt to this aspect but something you need to consider carefully if you want to be successful in this post. Salary also decreases due to no overtime or extra duty payments. It is a big change and requires real thought before making the move. It is a different culture and unless you really want to be involved in education you need to think carefully about whether or not a post like this would be the next step for you.


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

My teaching skills have improved along with an increased knowledge in the specialty I am involved in I am more conscious of the need for professional development for nursing staff I am investing in high standards or care and improving practice I am more aware of evidence based practice. My skills in questioning myself and others have improved. I have a greater awareness of the environment in which I work. I have captured the importance of team work and the difference a team can make to patient-centred care if correctly carried out.


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