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Caroline Shuldham: The nurse director role is tougher than ever

The responsibilities of leadership in today's NHS are vast, but in the right organisation the top job can still be immensely rewarding.
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The responsibilities of leadership in today's NHS are vast, but in the right organisation the top job can still be immensely rewarding

I was a nurse director for over 20 years, initially at Royal Brompton, then at Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust. It was a complex role and an overwhelmingly positive experience. Over the years, however, much has changed, and today the average tenure is about three years.

Vacant positions can be difficult to fill, and there are risks and vulnerability when things go wrong that were not so prevalent previously. This can lead to negative views of the role that influence nurses when making career decisions.

The responsibilities and demands on individual nurse directors are huge. As a board member, nurse directors carry wide-ranging corporate accountability

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