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authority to deal with issues such as performance management of the nursing staff, that did not carry personal significance for them. “I’m not in the job for the power I have over people I’m not in the job to control others”. Another CNL recognised the authority invested in the role but saw that as an authority not to be used in isolation “I might be the Charge Nurse but I cannot do anything by myself, it’s not a lone job, I cannot do it without

the tea

m o f n u r s e s .

The nursing staff and patients were key foci for the CNLs whether they were detailing the role itself or the experience of being in the role. All CNLs interviewed included a description of how the CNL supports and advocates for their nursing staff.

Staff advocate and support

The CNLs talked of being an advocate for their staff and the amount of time invested in this responsibility. “Staff management is huge and it often takes a lot of my time”. There was general agreement about the importance of the advocacy component amongst the CNLs. “I’m protective of my team cause I won’t have anyone criticise them I might discuss things with them but I’m very proud of my team”. Others described their staff as their “top priority”. Two CNLs described their response to being staff advocate for the nursing staff “the staff are feeling a bit pressured and looking to me” and “I was very much on the floor to support them in their nursing duties in whatever arose during the day”. Finally, one CNL, referring to the advocate component of the CNL outlined the expectation of maintaining confidentiality “you have to keep your staff confidence as well as a lot [of them] come to you with things in confidence”.


Six of the CNLs spoke of the patient as a key focus of the role. They talked about the importance of and responsibility to the patient and the enjoyment associated with this function within the role of CNL. One CNL said “and it’s seeing the patient I suppose seeing their continuing clinical story that I feel responsibility for” and another described their love of “patient contact”.


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