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Ward Sister

Leadership & Management
Career Pathway

Career Directions

  • Clinical Practice
  • Policy/Strategy Development

Area of Practice

  • Learning Disability Nursing


  • Hospital Care
  • Regional Public or Professional Body

Job/Role Summary

In my role as a ward sister I am responsible for providing clinical and managerial leadership whilst ensuring a highly efficient patient centred service. I manage a nursing team of 40 people and collectively we support each other to deliver a service in keeping with best practice and legislation.

My role is varied and I work collectively with multi- disciplinary and community teams to ensure a smooth and effective patient journey whilst in hospital through to patient discharge.

I am also the Deputy Lead for the Royal College of Nursing Learning Disability Network which enables me to provide a professional input to strategic issues related to Learning Disability Nursing. It also facilitates partnership working with Learning Disability Nurses regionally to help share ideas and improve practice.

I am extremely passionate about Patient Centred Care and Leadership and have a particular interest in Quality Improvement. I have delivered on various service improvement initiatives including delivering a patient evaluation tool to inpatient services. The Health Evaluation Framework is an integral tool to measure care delivery and to articulate the invaluable role of the Learning Disability nurse.


Specific qualifications and experience required

I graduated from Queens University Belfast in September 2001 with a Diploma in Nursing, Learning Disability branch. I also successfully completed a Degree in Health Studies which I completed part time whilst being employed.

I commenced employment in Muckamore Abbey hospital as a Staff Nurse in 2001, and have worked in a variety of settings including Male and Female Admissions, Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), Forensics, and Continuing Care wards where I have developed and maintained my clinical skills. I have continued to develop professionally by undertaking various courses to ensure delivery of effective, patient centred care and I am committed to Workforce Development in Nursing.

I have progressed from a band 5 and 6 to Band 7 and also had the opportunity to work for a period of time in a senior managerial position. I have spent time delivering training to registrants in relation to legislation and best practice and I am highly committed to strengthening the role of the Learning Disability Nurse.


Career Milestones

My Career Highlight was successfully obtaining a Ward Sister post in 2012. On qualifying in 2001 I always aspired to be a Ward Sister I was delighted to be successful at a young age with a young family and felt a great since of pride. Since securing a Ward Sister post I have promoted high standards of practice within my team and one highlight was the delivery of a truly patient centred service within a challenging behaviour unit where patients became equal partners in their care. Improving the patient experience whilst in hospital and achieving positive outcomes for the patients is undoubtedly a rewarding experience.


Enjoyable aspects of the job/role

My role is varied and dynamic. I love my job and feel it is a great privilege to work and support society’s most vulnerable people. The most enjoyable part of my job is developing teams to facilitate the delivery of safe, effective compassionate, person-centred services.


Advice for those considering the type of job/role?

Learning Disability Nursing is a very challenging but rewarding career. Essential criteria in my eyes are passion and love for the job. If you are passionate about patient centred care then Learning Disability Nursing is the career for you. Working in Learning Disability Nursing has exposed me to various career challenges but it has also shaped my career with clear career progression.


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