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Together we can promote an integrated approach to HIV care

New guidelines on advanced nursing practice promote an integrated approach to HIV care and ensure people living with HIV are at the heart of everything we do, say Jason Warriner and Michelle Croston. 
Specialist nurses in HIV care

New guidelines on advanced nursing practice promote an integrated approach to HIV care and ensure people living with HIV are at the heart of everything we do, say Jason Warriner and Michelle Croston

Last month, the National HIV Nurses Association (NHIVNA) produced guidelines on advanced nursing practice in HIV Care, endorsed by the RCN.

People living with HIV deserve excellent nursing care, and since the start of the epidemic in the 1980s nurses have led the way in developing services and models of care for people living with HIV.

Many changes have taken place due to nurses responding to the evolving needs of their patients and a desire for new roles and responsibilities. In late 2014, there were

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New guidelines on advanced nursing practice promote an integrated approach to HIV care and ensure people living with HIV are at the heart of everything we do, say Jason Warriner and Michelle Croston

Last month, the National HIV Nurses Association (NHIVNA) produced guidelines on advanced nursing practice in HIV Care, endorsed by the RCN. 

Specialist nurses in HIV care

People living with HIV deserve excellent nursing care, and since the start of the epidemic in the 1980s nurses have led the way in developing services and models of care for people living with HIV.

Many changes have taken place due to nurses responding to the evolving needs of their patients and a desire for new roles and responsibilities. In late 2014, there were 103,700 people living with HIV in the UK.

Year on year this number increases, requiring nurses in 2016 to look at new ways of working. 

The NHIVNA has brought together a set of guidelines in one document to demonstrate the evidence base and requirements for advanced nursing practice to safeguard HIV care in the future.  

The guidelines detail four key elements: 

  • Core elements of advanced nursing practice in HIV care.
  • Competency requirements for advanced nursing practice roles.
  • Implementing advanced nursing practice roles.
  • Commissioning advanced nursing practice and models of HIV care.

Examples of advanced HIV care in hospital community settings range from running nurse-led clinics, and delivering services in alternative settings, to improving quality accessibility and uptake, providing ongoing support with treatment adherence and public health interventions, such as HIV testing. 

New ways of working

The breadth of advanced practice in HIV care provides many opportunities to further develop roles and promote collaborative ways of working. The guidelines are written for nurses, doctors, service providers and commissioners to promote an integrated approach to care.

They can be used as part of career planning for nurses wishing to develop their roles, for commissioning services and to demonstrate value and quality in relation to national standards.

For these guidelines to be a success, all nurses working in HIV care must promote them. Investment in education and training is also needed, along with succession planning by senior nurses and ensuring that people living with HIV are placed at the heart of everything we do. 

To view the NHIVNA guidelines click here

About the authors

Jason Warriner

Jason Warriner is clinical services director at The Sussex Beacon, a charity which provides specialist care and support for people living with HIV

Michelle Croston is chair of the National HIV Nurses Association (NHIVNA)

 

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