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Clinical Nurse Specialist

Role Profile

Strategic and corporate lead for all aspects of nursing within the department. Responsible for the service development within service, ensuring that all areas are meeting national guideline recommendations.

Entry or experience requirements

To become a 8a lead nurse you  require expertise in managing and leading a service, proven MSc qualification in related /relevant subject and non-medical prescribing qualification.

Training and development

Once you have a specialist course in your chosen area and undertaken your masters, it is always helpful to undertake a management and leadership course to help you understand different types of leadership and managerial skills and to enable you to develop your skills and knowledge. The trusts managers passport and the Edward Jenner management programme on e-learning are also helpful for personal development.

Career development

You could transfer your skills to become a matron within the trust and aim towards a head of nursing role.

Pay and benefits

This role is a band 8a.


Registered nurse



My Story: Jen McDermott

I'm Jen McDermott, Lead Nurse Dialysis, Chronic Kidney disease (CKD)and Acute Kidney injury (AKI) and I have been in the Trust for 6 years.

How I got into the role

Until 2015 I had trained and worked in London working in renal in many different roles, Ward sister, research nurse, nurse practitioner in Transplantation and CKD, Lecturer practitioner and Lead nurse for live donor transplantation. I was getting up at 04:15 to get to work and could get home at 22:00, my work, life balance was poor.

In 2014 my unit were part of a kidney sharing scheme with Plymouth and whilst talking to the live donor co-ordinator she mentioned that they were having a reshuffle of roles and that the lead nurse for CKD was going to be advertised. 

After having a chat with my family I applied for the role and was successful in my interview. I remained in this role for 5 years then when the opportunity to lead the Dialysis, CKD and AKI  came up I jumped at the chance to develop new skills and take on new challenges

What I do

I lead in all aspects of renal nursing related to dialysis, CKD and AKI by ensuring that the teams ensure  patient centred care is the crux of their day to day work and encourage patients to take control of their disease and treatment pathways.

Service development is one of my key tasks and currently I am looking at expanding the dialysis unit to future prof it for the next 10 years by developing  a satellite dialysis site and expanding the size of the main unit at Estover to enable us to accommodate a growing dialysis population.

The best bits and challenges

Every day is different with challenges from capacity issues to power cuts or loss of water supply. We get to know our patients well as they have a chronic disease and move from one service to another throughout their renal journey.  I am fortunate to have teams that work together well and are the epitome of team work.

Life outside of work

I love gardening and this is a great stress relief, in the spring and summer as soon as I get home I am out in the garden pottering around planting and weeding. I also have a passion for gin and belong to a gin club and am becoming a connoisseur of gin cocktails.

Career plan and top tips

I have been very fortunate throughout my career that I have been supported and pushed to develop my skills and knowledge and given the encouragement and opportunities to take on new roles that I would not necessarily have considered and undertaking my degree, non-medical prescribing and my masters.

My career plan is to continue working to develop the renal services, developing the service whist developing students and staff to reach their full potential.

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