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Essential Criteria Job specifications vary from location to location, but generally it is expected that the nurse consultant:
Desirable criteria may include such things as:
I believe that all the positions I have held since commencing my career in nursing back in 1981 have had an impact with regard to where I find myself at this point in time. A nurse consultant position embraces and involves elements of clinical practice, education, research, management and leadership, and my nursing career to date has resulted in me holding dedicated posts in most of these areas. It is this combination of experiences that has influenced me most, rather than one specific post or initiative, and in my view has made me better equipped to take on the challenges of a role with such varied components attached to it. Two other factors are worthy of note here. Firstly, I have tended to be influenced by people (role models) more than anything else, which serves as a reminder that we can all be a role model to others. We all have the opportunity to influence the career development and pathways of those we work with. Secondly, I have been greatly influenced by my involvement with the NMC as part of its Fitness to Practice Department, and believe that more practicing nurses should seek out developmental opportunities such as these.
First of all, find some who will mentor, support and counsel you as well as challenge you. Someone you respect and whose opinions you value. This position is hard work, never routine, and often results in you challenging practice and policy and often at a senior level. You must have the passion, courage, conviction and confidence to do this, and have the evidence / arguments to defend your stance. Be prepared for the isolation factor. A nurse consultant position, by its nature, falls outside of usual 'teams and structures' and this separation is important, but can also be extremely lonely at times. Seek out and find champions in a variety of areas/positions who share your views and who can help and support you in what you are trying to achieve. Have the passion and potential to influence others.
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