Senior nurses working at an advanced level of practice are crucial to the future sustainability of the health service in Scotland, according to a report from the Royal College of Nursing.
A report published today by RCN Scotland warned that action was needed at all levels – from the government downwards – to support nurses in senior clinical decision-making nurses.
“There’s a great opportunity for us as nurses to develop new ways of working”
It said they were needed to drive the changes necessary to transform the way health services were delivered in Scotland and ensure they were sustainable for the future.
The report – Nurse Innovators: clinical decision-making in action – was published together with seven case studies from ANPs working in a number of health boards across Scotland.
One covers the advanced nurse practitioner service that is running out-of-hours services across Grampian and leading the way internationally.
Linda Harper, associate nurse director for NHS Grampian, said she hoped the project would help “highlight the potential of all nurses working at an advanced level of practice across Scotland”.
“Collectively – wherever we work – I believe there’s a great opportunity for us as nurses to develop new ways of working, for the benefit of our patients locally,” she said.
“At times, it’s been challenging, particularly when I started out and was trying to establish the service, but overall it’s been so rewarding and worthwhile,” she added.
“There’s a huge and largely untapped potential for advanced nurse practice to contribute”
Commenting on the report, RCN Scotland director Theresa Fyffe described ANPs as a “largely untapped” resource for developing clinical practice and innovation.
“There’s a huge and largely untapped potential for advanced nurse practice to contribute to, and lead, new ways of delivering health and care services to ensure they’re sustainable into the future,” she said.
“Our report today – and the accompany stories from those on the frontline – provides substantial evidence of how ANPs currently in senior clinical decision-making roles are already contributing to the delivery of safe, high-quality, person-centred care in communities across Scotland,” she said.
Ms Fyffe added that it also pointed a “way forward for the future sustainability of our health services”.