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I have been in my current job for 18 years, having worked as a Staff Nurse in acute medicine for 10 years prior to this which reflects my personal preference in nursing. When taking up my Ward Manager post, my leadership skills required some development. I have learned a lot from reflecting on my experience of dealing with challenging situations and people. Formal programmes that I gained a lot from include Ward Management Development programmes and a Certificate in Health Service Management. During this course I learned about how the HPSS works, budget management, people management, leadership, managing conflict and enhanced self awareness. Other experiences that I have gained from include being a member of Area Nursing Advisory Committee for 10 years. This has helped broaden my knowledge of the challenges being experienced in other disciplines of nursing and midwifery. The opportunity to advise on issues relating to my own area of expertise and working as a member of a committee have all been part of my ongoing professional development. I have been a part in formulating strategic outlooks on the impact of Government and DHSSPS reports, through consultation responses. I have had the opportunity to take a lead on particular initiatives such as Trust Harassment Investigation Officer, NVQ Verifier, and member of NVQ Quality Assurance Board (Board wide). This has broadened my professional view from a number of perspectives. I became a member of a Service Development Committee to develop a business case for change to the Care of Older People Service. The experience of learning the business planning process and how to develop a business case was challenging and exciting. It was also frustrating when the effort of developing the business case was not approved.
It would be helpful for you to have a genuine interest in and commitment to caring for older people. Try to be a supportive manager through giving all staff responsibility for personal and professional development. Learn to value staff, as working in this environment can be repetitive and is hard work. You should learn to recognise stress and discord within the team and manage this. Learn to recognise unease in patients and relatives at an early stage and resolve it, but understand that you cannot be everything to everyone. Have a sense of humour. Leadership skills are important and can be developed. This may be something that you want to think about before applying for a post like this. Seek and build a support network for yourself
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