A new role designed to provide career progression for senior nurses is to be tested at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
The nurse registrar post, inspired by those used in US emergency departments, will be held by skin cancer specialist nurse Kate Davies, who already works at the trust.
“The nurse registrar role is not an entirely new concept but has mostly been seen in emergency rooms in the USA”
It will see Ms Davies complete a three-year programme to qualify as a nurse consultant in dermatology.
This will also include gaining an advanced practitioner postgraduate qualification with the University of East Anglia. She will focus on service development within dermatology.
The trust said it believed this was the first time a UK nurse registrar in dermatology had been appointed – and that the role represented a new approach to hiring consultant nurses, because they are usually recruited directly.
The initiative has been designed to retain specialist nurses and keep them in clinical services, research and service development.
“This new programme is designed to address the gaps in the clinical workforce and make the most of our talented nurses”
It will help to provide a structured route into a consultant role and improve succession planning, according to dermatology nurse consultant Carrie Wingfield, from Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals.
“Becoming a nurse consultant is considered the pinnacle of a professional nursing career, [but] it can be a difficult transition and requires excellent in-house support from both clinicians and nurses,” said Ms Wingfield.
“The nurse registrar role is not an entirely new concept but has mostly been seen in emergency rooms in the USA,” she said. ”The role is primarily aimed at providing a structured professional route to encourage the retention of nurses, already highly trained, but to support them to the next level of their career.”
UK’s first dermatology nurse registrar appointed by trust
Dr Anne-Marie Skellett, dermatology consultant and clinical director at the trust, added: “This new programme is designed to address the gaps in the clinical workforce and make the most of our talented nurses, as part of a multi-disciplinary team providing the best care for our patients.
“We have already proven the success of the nurse consultant role within our department and fully support in ongoing development of this important nursing role,” she said.