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As a nurse leader, I can ensure excellent patient care

A member of Nursing Management's editorial advisory board offers her advice on what to ask for at your next annual appraisal
Vector image of silhouettes of heads with arrows exchanging thoughts. To mark the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, members of our editorial advisory team reflect on nursing and advice for aspiring leaders. This article is by Helen Reeves.

A member of Nursing Management's editorial advisory board offers her advice on what to ask for at your next annual appraisal

This is a year in which we get to celebrate the amazing work that nurses and midwives undertake every day.

I knew early in my career that I wanted to become a nurse leader so I could ensure excellent patient care and help shape the careers of future nurses and healthcare assistants.

I love being a nurse leader, and being able to lead is one of the many great privileges I have been fortunate enough to have as part of my job. It is a role in

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A member of Nursing Management's editorial advisory board offers her advice on what to ask for at your next annual appraisal

Vector image of silhouettes of heads with arrows exchanging thoughts. To mark the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, members of our editorial advisory team reflect on nursing and advice for aspiring leaders. This article is by Helen Reeves.
Picture: iStock

This is a year in which we get to celebrate the amazing work that nurses and midwives undertake every day.

I knew early in my career that I wanted to become a nurse leader so I could ensure excellent patient care and help shape the careers of future nurses and healthcare assistants.

I love being a nurse leader, and being able to lead is one of the many great privileges I have been fortunate enough to have as part of my job. It is a role in which I am continually learning, but it is also the hardest job I have ever undertaken.

If you are looking to move into your first leadership role, I would strongly encourage having a good mentor and coach who can help you develop and provide you with the support you will need when the job gets tough.

Spend a day shadowing your nursing lead

As part of your next yearly appraisal, ask your nursing lead if you can spend a day shadowing them so you can see what they do in their role. Also read articles on nursing leadership and management to keep yourself abreast of current developments and initiatives, and use social media to connect with other nurse leaders.

I have been lucky that my career has been shaped by many fantastic nurse leaders, such as St Giles Hospice clinical director Katie Taroni and Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust matron Amber Markham, and I continue to look to their passion, knowledge and humility for guidance and support.

Read more on celebrating nursing leadership


Picture of Helen Reeves, head of specialist services at St Giles Hospice, Staffordshire. To mark the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, she and other members of our editorial advisory team reflect on nursing and advice for aspiring leaders.Helen Reeves, @he_reeves, is head of specialist services at St Giles Hospice, Staffordshire, and is a member of the Nursing Management editorial advisory board.

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