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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.
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.
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