work life balance

The Journey Continues…

Thank you to all who provided feedback on my first post in my blog in April. It has been a whirlwind of a month with lots of activity and critical choices to make.

I continue on my journey as a health practitioner and researcher – my passion remains.

I have taken a bold decision to go on a secondment into a managerial role as opposed to a nursing leadership role. Balancing the nursing operational issues which are numerous along with researching my subject area while enjoying life with my family proved to be the challenge of a lifetime. (Understatement of the year!)

As they say, “he who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day”. So, here’s hoping that this combination will fit and give me the headspace to achieve the balance of work, home and study. I am optimistic that my contribution, going forward, will be to embed ‘compassionate management’ into the service that I will manage. You see, compassion is everyone’s business and until this is accepted, we will not achieve effective staff engagement or attain the highest quality of care that our patients rightly deserve.

As I prepared to leave my role as Senior Nurse yesterday to start my secondment, I was surprised and humbled by the number of staff who streamed through my office throughout the day to share how my style of leadership had impacted on their professional and even personal circumstances during the my time there. They used words including compassionate, kind, approachable, helpful, leadership, effective, dynamic, positive attitude and strong advocate for patients and staff to describe me.

I challenged them to not think of it as being rare, but that staff should expect their leaders to display similar traits.

Don’t think that it was all smooth sailing though. There were significant challenges along the way. Staff did not always agree with the actions that were needed. Unprofessional practices were challenged consistently. In the end, and with time, they have come to understand that we have the power to continually develop and improve and not wait for others to ‘come and save the day’. Our patients deserve to have motivated, dedicated staff with the passion to make a difference.

As I have been tweeting recently, compassion should ‘come as standard’ for anyone who aspires to work in healthcare, regardless of role. It is a caring business after all. Compassion has direct benefit to achieving efficiency, safety and patient experience which are the main components of high quality healthcare.

If compassion ‘comes as standard’ and is included in the ‘on the road price’ then surely, culturally competent compassion is the ‘Rolls Royce’ of care in the increasingly diverse world that we live and work in.

I am  going back to work on my research project now so that I can continue to inspire others and also get the inspiration I so desperately need to balance this work, home and study business. I have my first PhD supervision this week so I am feeling a bit anxious…

Take care and keep the feedback coming!

Follow me on Twitter: @McIntoshNichole or at

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By Nichole McIntosh FRSA

I am a Jamaican-born British nurse, poet, blogger:, vlogger, podcaster, motivational speaker, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and Editorial Advisor of the Royal College of Nursing Institute’s Nursing Management Journal.

I am also the Founder and Director of Maroon Mindset Unlimited Ltd, a consultancy company that works with the NHS and other systems to learn, think and behave differently.

Follow me on Twitter: @McIntoshNichole
Instagram: @tyrese876 or @maroon.mindset
Facebook Page: @NicholeMcIntoshFRSA
LinkedIn: Maroon Mindset

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