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Deputy Charge Nurse

Leadership & Management
Career Pathway

Career Directions

  • Management

Area of Practice

  • Learning Disability Nursing


  • Hospital Care

Job/Role Summary

My job as a Deputy Charge Nurse in the acute admission ward can have many varied aspects, however a fundamental part of this job is to lead a staff team in delivering safe, effective, person centred care and enhancing the quality of care each patient receives.

Within my role, my team and I create a therapeutic, safe environment for people with learning disabilities who require a period of assessment and treatment. We provide inpatient care with the view to discharging patients back to the community, when they are ready, with the appropriate support to sustain them at home.

My job role involves being a key player in “change” within service delivery and supporting staff to embed changes into everyday practice with the aim of improving the service. I am also a link between frontline staff and senior management which ensures clear/ effective communication channels.


Specific qualifications and experience required

I first started working in Muckamore Abbey at age 16 as a Nursing Assistant while I was still at school. I then progressed to Queens University Belfast where I graduated in February 2013 with a degree in Learning Disability Nursing. I then spent my first few years working as a Staff Nurse within the hospital where I worked with patients who had many complex needs. I gained clinical experience in this role which I found extremely valuable and which helped me develop within my staff nurse role. In addition I also experienced working with many great staff. I then went on to become a temporary Deputy Charge Nurse for 6 months before commencing the Specialist Practice in Learning Disabilities (SPLD) at University of Ulster. Following the completion of the SPLD course, I returned to the hospital in July 2017 to a permanent Deputy Charge Nurse post in an admission ward and continued to work one day a week in my specialist practitioner role.

I had also took up a Band 7 Charge Nurse position role (temporarily for a couple of months) within admissions while the Sister was on maternity leave, and again this was a great opportunity for further learning and development.


Career Milestones

Firstly, one of my career highlights was completing a BSc Hons Degree in Learning Disability Nursing as this helped to shape the career pathway I was going down. Secondly, having the opportunity to further my academic career by completing my Specialist Practice qualification, as this will allow for future career progression.

I was particularly happy with my first Band 6 post at the age of 25, and I considered that a great achievement.

I have been glad of the opportunity to maintain my Deputy Charge Nurse post and also to work one day a week as a Specialist Practitioner. This allows me to continue with the therapeutic work I had been involved in while on my course which has had significant impact on the quality of life of the individuals involved.


Enjoyable aspects of the job/role

I enjoy being part of a team and working with them on a daily basis. I like the managerial aspect of the role and the ability to maintain direct patient contact which keeps my clinical skills up to date. It also allows me to observe the dynamics of the ward and identify ways to improve the service we deliver to patients.

I also get great satisfaction seeing the progress a service user has made and the ability to facilitate their transition from hospital to the community.


Advice for those considering the type of job/role?

I have to say I do enjoy my job although it can be challenging at times. I relish the opportunity to work closely with a team and also with service users, seeing patients progress and developing staff as much as possible to be the best they can be within their roles.


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