t h e y ’ r e o f t e n i n t e r c h a n g e a b l e t h e y ’ r e a c t u a l l y o f t e n n o t t h e s a m e t h i n g a n where as one is about efficiency and one is about effectiveness I think sometimes the roles can clash. d
One CNL described the challenge of being both and said, “I think the hardest thing about being a Clinical Nurse Leader is being clinical as in our title and also management and often they kind of clash”.
Another described an inability to influence the budget although the position description included this as a shared responsibility between the CNL and their manager:
I feel the money is already spent I don’t have any input into the budget although there’s that thing around capital what you would need but I don’t have any control of the ceiling of my budget.
A third CNL described her response to the expectation of dual leadership and management focus:
I spend a high component of my job is often on the floor I am on the floor as in clinical and I’m often hands on and so therefore I have this office with all this paper in this basket that’s about this high and to be honest part of that is I need to take responsibility and be a bit strict and go and do some of that paper work.
As part of the experience of being a CNL, two CNLs talked of being separate and apart from their team, with one commenting:
you get the phenomena of you walk into a room and people stop talking that people are very aware of where you are and that they have to behave when you’re around and so its fascinating because the people that used to work side by side with see you as a force apart.
Another CNL stated how “it can be lonely” being a Clinical Nurse Leader.