Opinion

The QNI is committed to quality and education

Crystal Oldman explains why nurses are not ‘widgets’ that can be moved from hospital to community willy nilly.
Crystal Oldman

The Queens Nursing Institute (QNI) conference attracted 400 nurses and policy makers from across the UK and international nurse academics, demonstrating a real desire for nurses to come together to learn, share and network. The conference themes quality and education reflected the QNIs goals for a high quality service in the community.

A quality service cannot be delivered without skilled nurses. While this seems obvious, it is not always recognised, with proposals made that nurses can be moved around like widgets in the system, regardless of their preparation or skill set. I have frequently heard it said that nurses who work in hospitals can simply be moved to work in the community, as if the skills required are the same and no transition preparation is needed. Before we even think about these skills, the nurse will need a car and a driving licence. They may prefer to

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The Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) conference attracted 400 nurses and policy makers from across the UK and international nurse academics, demonstrating a real desire for nurses to come together to learn, share and network. The conference themes – quality and education – reflected the QNI’s goals for a high quality service in the community.

A quality service cannot be delivered without skilled nurses. While this seems obvious, it is not always recognised, with proposals made that nurses can be moved around like ‘widgets’ in the system, regardless of their preparation or skill set.  I have frequently heard it said that nurses who work in hospitals can simply be moved to work in the community, as if the skills required are the same and no transition preparation is needed. Before we even think about these skills, the nurse will need a car and a driving licence. They may prefer to work in a hospital, with a multidisciplinary team around them.

Freedom

Once a nurse moves to work in the community, in any role, they rarely go back to the hospital environment.  The freedom to work independently, to exercise professional judgement, to develop long-term relationships with patients and to serve a local population is a compelling combination. Girdham’s research (featured in the October issue) on the role of district nurses in transition from hospital, shows this well.

The QNI is committed to showcasing the community, including primary care, as a fabulous place to develop a career, full of opportunities to develop nursing skills, to excel and to provide an essential service to a local community of all ages. The conference focused on attracting nursing students to a career in the community, inspired by excellent placement experiences and university nursing programmes.

The transition to the community is supported by a suite of resources (http://www.qni.org.uk/transition), to which we will be adding in 2017, ‘Transition to Care Home Practice’ and ‘Transition to Homeless Health Nursing’. These free online resources have been developed by highly skilled nurses working in universities, together with Queen’s Nurses, and are illustrated with real scenarios from practice. They are relevant, current and full of material to ensure nurses moving to the community are well prepared and supported.


About the author

Crystal Oldman is chief executive of the Queen’s Nursing Institute

 

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