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Team leader/ Professional Head - Mental Health

Leadership & Management
Career Pathway

Career Directions

  • Clinical Practice
  • Public Health
  • Management

Area of Practice

  • Mental Health Nursing
  • Public Health Nursing


  • Community/Primary Care

Job/Role Summary

  • To lead a multi-disciplinary team
  • Act as professional head for social work/community/ psychiatric nursing within the sector
  • Management of a limited caseload


Specific qualifications and experience required

  • Professional qualification in Nursing or Social work
  • Diploma in Community Psychiatric Nursing (or equivalent)
  • Minimum of 5 years' post-qualifying experience
  • Extensive knowledge of mental health conditions and issues in mental health
  • Ability to lead and manage multi-disciplinary team and uni-professional team
  • Current full driving licence and access to a car


Career Milestones

I have had a wide range of professional experiences in both general, community and mental health nursing during which time I have undertaken a range of academic courses which have helped develop practical skills. During the 15 years I spent as a Community Psychiatric Nurse I completed courses in grief counselling, marriage counselling and psychotherapy, and they have all helped with the challenges of my current role. I have undertaken a diploma in reflexology which has helped in complementing the counselling approach to my work with clients. I completed a 2-year practice development programme with the Royal College of Nursing/University of Ulster which helped increase my confidence and developed my skills in public speaking. It also helped broaden my professional/ personal vision, knowledge of and experience in the areas of networking and research. Other important developments for me were completion of a degree in Professional Development in Nursing and a diploma in Community Nursing. Having undertaken these development processes I realised I was ready for a change in my job/role. I have been a part of the Clinical Nurse leadership Programme which I have found beneficial also.


What attracted you to this job?

  • Enhanced professional status
  • Professional/ personal challenge
  • Peer pressure to apply .My colleagues felt I would be suitable for the post
  • Agenda for change and salary issues
  • Personal ambition to progress higher within my chosen career direction


Enjoyable aspects of the job/role

  • Leading and mentoring a team thus encouraging practitioners towards excellence in their practice
  • Feeling valued and respected
  • Networking


Important success factors

  • Enthusiasm and motivation to do the best I can
  • Good communication skills
  • Good relationships with staff, clients and stakeholders


Advice for those considering the type of job/role?

It would be important to talk to someone in a similar post to this one who is new in the role. Find out from them the challenges they face and skills they feel they have needed for the role. You will need to accept that a lot of the learning and development you will undertake will be experiential and you should expect to feel uncomfortable and challenged during periods of development. You will need to allow yourself time for the transition between posts to adjust to the new way of working. It would be helpful to try and win over the support of the staff you are managing and to engage in working collaboratively with them to achieve a common goal. It would be an advantage to undertake leadership training and to seek out mentors both internal and external to the organisation who will help with the adjustment to your new role.


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

  • Leading/ management skills
  • Computer skills
  • Skills in working differently to achieve goals
  • Patience in a range of situations and the skill to not be reactive
  • Inclusiveness
  • Assertiveness and the ability to challenge
  • Less sensitivity to criticism and the skill to learn from it
  • Coping with increased responsibility for actions in respect of patients, staff and the Trust


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