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Lead Nurse Specialist / Department manager, Cardiology Services

Leadership & Management
Career Pathway

Career Directions

  • Clinical Practice
  • Management
  • Policy/Strategy Development

Area of Practice

  • Adult Nursing


  • Hospital Care

Job/Role Summary

Operational and strategic management of all aspects of service provision; Development of all areas of clinical practice; Staff development and education/ training planning and provision; Maintaining and improving standards of patient care; Introduction and update of practice in line with latest evidence-based practice; Strategic approach to Clinical Governance and risk management in the specialty; Monitoring and achievement of quality care for patients.


Specific qualifications and experience required

State registered nurse; Minimum of 5 years experience in the last 7 years in cardiology at grade F or above; Degree in nursing or health-related topic; Cardiology specialist courses e.g. ALS , coronary care course or specialist practice.


Career Milestones

On reflection milestones to this present position are more to do with the love of cardiology and opportunities arising at a time which was right for my long term view of what I wanted for my specialty rather than always myself. However, such experiences such as curriculum planning, team membership, teaching of critical care at RCN and project management have all influenced and prepared me as a person for the responsibilities of my present post. Project management at Trust level has provided personal challenges which have developed my knowledge and skills, focused my vision of clinical practice development and improved my experience of managing in a political agenda and target orientated environment. Being astute and politically aware of all developments which will impact on clinical practice is extremely important, this has benefited me greatly over my nursing career.


What attracted you to this job?

Practice and staff development aspects of the post; Opportunity to influence quality care for patients; Opportunity to influence the direction of cardiology nursing practice; Project management; Lead role in new service developments; A post which held a clinical input and maintained clinical knowledge and skills.


Enjoyable aspects of the job/role

Leadership role; Development role; Service development role.


Important success factors

Good support network of friends and colleagues throughout the nursing profession and across the cardiology specialty in Northern Ireland; Experience of healthcare as a patient; Many colleagues working and retired who are inspirational in various ways.


Advice for those considering the type of job/role?

You will need a high level of motivation, personal drive and enthusiasm for the job. You will need to develop good management skills. You will need to gain experience in change management and project management as the knowledge and skills gained through these experiences will influence the success and enjoyment of the job.


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

Improved interpersonal skills; Managing difficult staff relationships/ situations; Negotiating, motivating and influencing skills; I have gained a wider view of the health service as a politically influenced organisation.


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