Being a nurse consultant is a way for OH nurses to progress while remaining in clinical practice
Many people don't yet understand the role of the nurse consultant, said Tammie Daly, who was appointed the first OH nurse consultant earlier this year.
In her presentation to the conference on the role of nurse consultants, she explained how they play a vital part in improving service and quality of care and strengthening leadership.
And, for OH nurses who want to progress without moving into management, taking the nurse consultant route is a valuable way of progressing while remaining in clinical practice.
Daly described the processes involved in creating a post, how to apply for funding, the key requirements of the post and the challenges involved in performing the role.
Describing the four core functions of the role, she explained that nurse consultants continue to perform expert clinical practice for 50 per cent of their time.
The remainder is divided up between providing professional leadership and consultancy, helping in the education, training and development of staff and "making a tangible difference to how clients are cared for" by research and evaluation.
"Part of my role," she said, "is to encourage other people to become nurse consultants." However, in terms of remuneration, she was at pains to point out she is not drawing the optimum salary of £45,000 mentioned in the July Occupational Health news story on her appointment.