QNI launches homeless health nursing resource

The Queen’s Nursing Institute has launched an online resource to address knowledge gaps for those who want to work in homeless health

The Queen's Nursing Institute (QNI) has launched a guide for nurses who want to work in homeless health nursing.

A survey found two thirds of nurses starting work in homeless health felt they did not know enough about conditions for homeless people. Picture: Kate Stanworth

Transition to Homeless Health Nursing is an eight-chapter self-guided online resource. It includes information on safe working practices, risk assessment, common patient conditions and multidisciplinary working, as well as levels of homelessness, causes and health implications. 

The guidance, launched by QNI chief executive Crystal Oldman at an event in London this week, was developed with the help of a focus group of young homeless people and by surveying more than 80 homeless health nurses. 

Knowledge gaps

QNI homeless health programme manager David Parker-Radford said: 'Excellent nursing care for people who are homeless can only come by learning on the job over time. This resource aims to fill in some of the gaps, speed up the learning process and help develop the confidence of nurses to understand homelessness, work collaboratively, know the current legislation and get involved in policy.'

A chapter dealing with the transition to homeless health nursing explains the concerns nurses might have before working in this area.

The QNI survey showed that 67% of nurses starting work as a homeless health nurse were concerned about not knowing enough about social and housing conditions. 

The resource recommends nurses visit hostels, shelters, drop-ins and homelessness support organisations in their area to better understand how homeless people live. 

Safety advice

The guidance provides information on the legislative framework and advice on time management, which can be difficult when dealing with people with chaotic lifestyles, as well as how to stay safe. 

It encourages nurses to review the personal safety and emergency equipment they have. 

The QNI said the resource can also be used as a refresher guide for more experienced community nurses, or as learning material for nursing students.

Further information 

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