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Ward Manager - Intensive Care

Leadership & Management
Career Pathway

Career Directions

  • Clinical Practice
  • Quality Improvement
  • Education
  • Management

Area of Practice

  • Adult Nursing


  • Hospital Care

Job/Role Summary

  • Responsibility for managing a 7-bed Intensive Care unit
  • Responsibility for 55 members of staff
  • Professional leadership of nursing team within the unit and co-ordination of all aspects of clinical care
  • Responsibility for and contribution to the ongoing learning and development of nursing staff for my Trust
  • Recruitment and retention of staff


Specific qualifications and experience required

  • Registered Nurse
  • Part 1 of the Register Adult Nursing
  • 2-3 years' experience as a senior staff nurse in intensive care
  • Degree in Nursing desirable


Career Milestones

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.


What attracted you to this job?

  • I had always wanted to be a ward sister during my career .It was a role I was naturally drawn to and felt I would enjoy
  • I gained intensive care experience during my time working outside Northern Ireland


Enjoyable aspects of the job/role

  • Job satisfaction
  • Being responsible for teaching and training new nurses and seeing these nurses develop within an intensive care environment
  • Relative and patient feedback - we often have patients/relatives visiting the ward to thank us for the care they have received during difficult periods in their lives


Important success factors

  • Keeping myself motivated
  • Enjoying the job and having a level of commitment
  • Patient/ relative feedback


Advice for those considering the type of job/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.


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

  • Patience
  • Consideration for others
  • Clear communication skills
  • Good delegation skills
  • Enhancement of clinical and management knowledge
  • Effective management of teams
  • Change management
  • Skills in staff appraisal and recognising development opportunities


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