For our profession to keep advancing we need strong nursing leaders says Danielle Coates, a Paediatric Emergency Nurse Practitioner studying a Master of Healthcare Leadership at Southern Cross University.
Hospital emergency departments are high-pressure environments where the stakes are high. When the patients are children, the emotional intensity dials up a few more notches.
Danielle Coates, a Paediatric Emergency Nurse Practitioner at Sydney’s Royal North Shore Hospital, takes that kind of pressure in her stride as a senior member of the emergency department and a recognised clinical leader.
“I’ve always worked in emergency and always in paediatrics but in different roles,” Danielle says of her 16-year nursing career at Sydney Children’s Hospital – Randwick where she gained experience across management, clinical and education roles.
Now based at the Royal North Shore Hospital she is the first nurse practitioner in its emergency department, a healthcare model that is slowly being embraced in hospitals across the country.
“As a nurse practitioner I am qualified to assess, diagnose, treat and discharge patients. I order investigations and medications beyond what a registered nurse can do. While I work in close collaboration with my medical colleagues, I work autonomously providing care to children,” Ms Coates said.
Earlier this year she embarked on Southern Cross University’s online Master of Healthcare Leadership while continuing to work fulltime.
“For our profession to keep advancing, we need strong nursing leaders. Our profession, our career, is important. Long term, I would like to be in a positon where I can influence more than direct patient care. I would like to influence nursing and healthcare at a higher level.”
Ms Coates says the course is relevant and targeted.
“A lot of leadership courses focus on you as an individual and your personality traits or behaviours. Whereas the Master of Healthcare Leadership is broader than that. It looks at policies and the big picture then ties theory into practice where I implement changes into my workplace.”
Advancing the skills and status of nurses is also a passion for Bonnie Boezeman AO, a founding member of Chief Executive Women (CEW) who this year created a postgraduate scholarship in association with Southern Cross.
Ms Coates was delighted to be named the inaugural recipient of the Bonnie Boezeman AO Leadership in Nursing Scholarship.
“I think it’s important to support other women in our careers,” she said. “Doing the course is fabulous but the added bonus is the opportunity to have conversations and mentoring with leaders associated with Chief Executive Women.”
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