Key Leadership Skills For 2nd Line Managers & Supervisors

The role of first line managers in healthcare settings is challenging and complex. Over 20 years ago Pembrey et al (1980) demonstrated that ward sisters (front line managers) have a complex role with three parts: clinical expert; educator; and manager. However this is easier said than done!

Many managers struggle to balance the competing complexity and demands of the role. This is supported by research conducted in the UK by the Royal College of Nursing (2009). In summary the research highlighted that ward sisters (front line supervisors/managers) are often unclear about expectations of them and lack the time, resources and authority to lead effectively. Other national and international studies suggest ward leaders do not believe they have the power to set priorities and are often merely responding to the demands of the system.

In this context the engaging Workshop will focus of specific skills required for front line managers working across healthcare.


The workshop will specifically explore the following themes drawing on practical examples of how to implement and develop front line supervisors including:

  • Leadership and management development
  • Core skills of Operational Planning
  • Clinical Governance 
  • Capacity to develop Teams
  • Professional reflection


Learning Outcomes:

  • Define the term competencies in the context of supervisors
  • Explore key leadership competencies in relation to supervisors
  • Identify how supervisors can implement key leadership skills within their work environment
  • Explore how leadership competencies can be evaluated



Experienced in Corporate, Managerial and Clinical Leadership both in Ireland and England.

  • Programs Director at the Institute of Leadership, RCSI, Bahrain
  • Worked as Senior Policy Maker and National Nursing & Midwifery Services Director for the Health Service Executive, Ireland.
  • Consulted and supported leadership development in building partnerships and alliances, driving change and supporting professions in times of major challenge and reform.
  • Developed and implemented strategic Healthcare projects and initiatives both regionally, nationally and internationally.
  • Co-authored a number of book chapters and has published in various international publications.


Recent Clients

 Institute of Leadership Royal College of Surgeons Bahrain, Dubai and Ireland

  • Health Service Executive Ireland
  • Department of Health and Children, Ireland
  • International Learning Community, Iceland
  • Roche International Limited, Middle East, Oman