So in the last 5 months I have dived into a brand new and unfamiliar role.

I have left clinical nursing and I am now a nursing unit manager.

This is a completely foreign field to me and I’m not even managing in a clinical area that I am expert in.

However, like most journeys and challenges, they present significant opportunities for growth, reflection and learning.

I’ve snagged myself a mentor – we meet and have honest reflective conversations over wine and food – shifting my perspectives, allowing me to test ideas and explore new ones as I seek my own path away from the bedside. This mentor has been instrumental in helping me challenge my own boundaries about what it means to be a nurse:

‘Am I still a nurse when my role is not 100% clinical?’

‘Is it ok to have ambition?’

‘What does it mean when Clinical ‘wins’ no longer give me job satisfaction?’

These have been highly challenging for me and thank god – she has walked the same path – from high levels of competence in critical care, to Executive Director in a non clinical role.

We talked about what it meant for ME to be a nurse – why I got up in the morning.

It boiled down to some very simple premises:

1. The best outcome for each patient.

2. Developing the professionals that work with me.

3. Keep learning and achieving.

All of these are possible at the bedside. But the circle of influence is small.

However, away from the bedside my circle of influence is less laser like but covers a greater area.

So to move into those role you need ambition. And to permit yourself to still call yourself nurse when most days you aren’t directly providing nursing care.

So that’s how I ended up in my first management role. And I’m excited to see what happens from here.