Reflection on the development of the nurse consultant role
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Reflection on the development of the nurse consultant role

Alison Pottle Nurse consultant in cardiology, Harefield Hospital, Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, Harefield, England

Why you should read this article:
  • » To understand the development of the nurse consultant role and the changes in its remit that have occurred over time

  • » To be aware of the role of nurse consultants in establishing nurse-led services and the challenges and benefits involved

  • » To recognise the potential career pathways and professional development opportunities available for nurses in the nurse consultant role

The role of nurse consultant was introduced in the late 1990s to strengthen leadership in nursing, improve patient outcomes and enhance the quality of healthcare services. Nurse consultants have a wide-ranging remit that includes expert practice, professional leadership and consultancy, education, and service development. In this article, the author reflects on her experience of being one of the first nurse consultants, which included setting up nurse-led clinics, maintaining professional relationships with medical colleagues and assuming increasing responsibility for services. The article also examines the changes that the nurse consultant role has undergone since its inception in the 1990s.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2018.e11251


Pottle A (2018) Reflection on the development of the nurse consultant role. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2018.e11251

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software


Conflict of interest

None declared

Published online: 30 August 2018

Want to read more?

Already subscribed? Log in


Unlock full access to RCNi Plus today

Save over 50% on your first 3 months

Your subscription package includes:
  • Unlimited online access to all 10 RCNi Journals and their archives
  • Customisable dashboard featuring 200+ topics
  • RCNi Learning featuring 180+ RCN accredited learning modules
  • RCNi Portfolio to build evidence for revalidation
  • Personalised newsletters tailored to your interests
RCN student member? Try Nursing Standard Student

Alternatively, you can purchase access to this article for the next seven days. Buy now