My job

The nurse leader who is determined to keep one foot on the front line of care

Emma Wadey’s new job has propelled her to the top of the NHS, but don’t ask her to give up clinical practice
head of mental health nursing for NHS England and NHS Improvement Emma Wadey

Emma Wadey’s new job has propelled her to the top of the NHS, but don’t ask her to give up clinical practice

The prospect of losing direct contact with patients or service users can put nurses off seeking promotion into senior management roles.

But Emma Wadey's career is proof it is possible to go far in management terms, while staying close to the front-line of clinical practice.

Combining policy-making with clinical practice

In January, she took up the new post of head of mental health nursing for NHS England and NHS Improvement . ‘It’s a national leadership role that’s been in the making for some time,' she explains.

She does this while retaining


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