Why we need to celebrate successes such as nurse prescribing

As Primary Health Care editor Julie Sylvester retires from the role, she looks back at the highs and lows in community, primary care and public health nursing

Illustration of a woman about to let go of a giant paper plane into the blue skies
Picture: iStock

As I gather my thoughts ahead of my final edition as editor of Primary Health Care I am flooded with memories and reflections of what the journal has featured over the years, what is pressing and urgent now, and what the future holds.

It is has been a privilege to serve and support the combined forces of nurses working in community, primary care and public health settings.

Primary Health Care’s aim has always been to examine and report on the issues facing nurses across the community spectrum and to celebrate your autonomy, independence, advanced skills and determination to serve your patient populations.

‘It is has been a privilege to serve and support the combined forces of nurses working in community, primary care and public health settings’

There are so many thoughts I could highlight here about community-based nursing and its evolution, notably the incredible achievements and huge challenges in practice you currently face. As you have taken on more complex roles, innovations and specialised, the nature and breadth of roles available across community teams has reflected a growth in competence, research ability and technological know-how.

The UK is now a world leader in nurse prescribing

Yes, there are causes for concern and battles to be fought as workforce numbers drop across district nursing, health visiting, school nursing and general practice nursing – to name just a few areas – as skill mix is diluted and workloads become ever more intense.

But let’s remember the success that is nurse prescribing, in which the UK is a world leader. It has transformed care and brought job satisfaction and autonomy. I have seen a remarkable growth in the range of projects, innovations, investigations and achievements the journal has been able to feature.

Thank you for your incredible support, and sharing of information and interest. I retire from the journal with a fantastic band of readers, reviewers and authors to ensure its future is bright.

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