Management & Leadership Domain

Isobel McClintlock Ward Sister, Altnagelvin Hospital. View the video here

Managers within the Emergency Departments hold various roles and titles including Deputy Ward Sister/Charge Nurse, Ward Sister/ Charge Nurse.

The  Sister/Charge Nurse within the Emergency Department is responsible for the day-to-day running of the department, making sure that the department is staffed appropriately and the nursing team has the tools and resources needed to provide person centred safe effective care. Other responsibilities  of the job include budget management, leading the development and review of  policies and procedures, keeping nursing staff updated and informed and supporting staff to avail of educational opportunities so they are able to keep their clinical skills up to date. In 2009 the Chief Nursing Officer commissioned NIPEC to lead a regional Leading Care project, to strengthen and support the role of the Ward Sister/Charge Nurse which included the development of a number of resources including a Career Pathway and Development Framework. Click here to view all Leading Care resources.

Emergency Nurses interested in progressing in management and leadership can progress to Lead Nurse / Clinical Coordinator roles; leading the development of staff and service to enhance patient care.

Click on the links below to read more about these roles, education programmes to support management and leadership opportunities.


  • Sister/Charge Nurse

    The  Emergency Department Ward Sister/Charge Nurse has a range of roles and responsibilities which ensure:

    • Safe and effective person centred care is provided by nurses/midwives and support staff to meet the needs of patients/clients and their carers
    • The highest standards of cleanliness and infection prevention and control are achieved and maintained (Ward Sisters Charter DHSSPS, 2006)
    • Effective leadership and management of nurses/midwives and support staff with clear lines of professional and organisational accountability performance and development of staff
    • Nurses/midwives and support staff communicate effectively with patients/clients and their carers and other members of the multi-disciplinary team
    • Effective management of all information to meet the needs of patients/clients/carers, the organisation and its staff, partner organisations and other agencies
    • Proactive development and monitoring of nursing /midwifery services to improve the quality of care provided for patients/clients and their carers
    • Effective resource management within allocated budgetary constraints
    • Enhancement of the patient/client experience in all aspects of the patient/client journey
    • Implementation of effective risk management processes
    • Promotion of a supportive environment that enables staff and students to demonstrate ongoing learning and development
    • Provision of an environment that enhances multi-disciplinary team working
  • Lead Nurse/Clinical Coordinator

    The Lead Nurse/Clinical Coordinator is crucial in ensuring the provision of high quality person centred, safe, effective patient care within the Emergency Department.

    They are responsible for providing strong professional and managerial leadership and ensuring the highest standards of patient care contributing to and enhancing the patient’s experience. Lead Nurses/Clinical Coordinators work alongside Clinical Managers/Assistant Directors/ Clinical Teams to enhance and improve performance. They provide professional advice, guidance and support to the nursing team and support the development of skills, knowledge and competencies of staff to effectively meet the needs of patients. the Lead Nurse/Clinical Coordinator liaise closely with members of the multidisciplinary team to improve channels of communication, provide nursing leadership maintaining patient safety, allow maximum utilisation of resources and promote continuity and co-ordination of the services within their sphere of responsibility.