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responsible for the nursing care of the patient utilises many policies, for example medicine management which governs the dispensing of specific medicines by certain certificated clinicians to patients. One CNL referred to the importance of such systems and her responsibility as a Clinical Nurse Leader. She said: “They [the nurses] need to understand systems and processes …. it’s critical they understand the systems and processes”.

Professional Relationships

Three CNLs included the professional relationships that the Clinical Nurse Leader manages, with one stating “You know you’re dealing with …. all sorts as well as other professionals”. Another CNL described the variety of colleagues that the CNL engages professionally with, “it’s your relationship with your boss your staff that work with you it’s your peers it’s other CNLs, it’s other departments”.

Professional support

Three CNLs talked of the mentoring model as being useful to support the role. As one CNL said: “I would stress anybody to seek out there’s a word for it a mentor”. One CNL described her experience of professional development and support within the role and said:

I found that there’s not a lot of coaching mentoring help for this role and a lot of it is a little bit by trial and error…it becomes difficult when you’re dealing with staff and handling personal relationships.

Another CNL spoke at length of the level or lack of professional support she had received, describing at one point:

you’re not really taught how to comport yourself as a Clinical Nurse Leader you hope that what you’re doing is what you’re supposed to be doing you read the job description but its pretty generic.

The same CNL included how this may also be a frustration.

I suppose it probably is a frustration but it’s not having a mentor I suppose when you come into the role someone you can go and talk to about …. and you hope you’re doing it right and you hope someone will come and say to


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