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y o u h e y . s o I t h i n k i n t h a t r e s p e c t y o u r e a l w a y s l e f t w o n d e r i n g a s t o i s t h i what the organisation wants you to do … it would be nice if you go and do a course or just went away a day a week for four weeks in a structured way. s

The experience of the being a CNL saw the CNLs talk in detail about how it was for them to function in the role including judgement statements about the experience.


The Experience of being a Clinical Nurse Leader

Six CNLs described the tension that occurs between the leadership and management functions of the role. Five described the experience of being a clinical nurse leader as a privileged and humbling one, relating back to their experience again with both their patients and nursing staff. Five also described the role as enjoyable, challenging and exciting.

Conflicting management and leadership

The role of CNL within this DHB has a generic position description which sets out the nature and scope of the role and includes the primary responsibility of the CNL as being to lead, guide and manage the clinical nursing team in the delivery of safe and effective patient care and outcomes.

Six of the seven CNLs referred to the dual function of leading and managing within their role and, as one CNL, said the role is:

almost a schizophrenic role in terms of that its very fragmented …. sometimes it can be in conflict with itself…. you end up with lots of pressure pulling you in different directions and often I think that’s why when you’re leaving at 7 o’clock at night you see other Charge Nurses trundling down the hill at the same time I think the role is bigger than one person can do.

There was a general belief that these dual functions are often difficult to manage:

The Clinical Nurse Leader role is the kind of conflicting in some ways you’ve got the leadership role and a management role and we understand that whilst


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