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During my years as a student nurse and in the early years after I had registered, I gained a lot of experience in accident and emergency nursing. I enjoyed the challenge of this type of nursing. My first posts as a staff nurse were within a small hospital setting and this provided good opportunities for me in terms of promotion and management training. I worked outside of Northern Ireland for a while which helped me develop my ability to adapt and be flexible as well as give me confidence in my own knowledge and skills. Completing a general degree part-time at university helped 'shape' my professional development both clinically and managerially. At that stage I selected modules that would be applicable to my role.
Be prepared to work hard and give of your full commitment. Develop a 'tough skin' particularly when dealing with staff. Be aware that some staff can be difficult to motivate. Remember that you will find a lot of job satisfaction in this role. A lot of your job responsibility is in the realm of professional development and you now have the opportunity to initiate effective change which may impact on patient care directly or indirectly.
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