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Educated for top-quality care

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Nottingham University Hospitals is committed to an education strategy for its nursing staff that sees them gain advanced skills and clinical expertise

Educated for top-quality care

Educated for top-quality care

If you want to practise independently, run a complex caseload and understand a disease area in-depth, then training as a clinical nurse specialist or advanced nurse practitioner could be the right career progression for you. Nottingham University Hospitals is investing in this role because it believes it provides better care for patients and releases consultant time. It creates a career path for nurses who want to keep seeing patients in a clinical environment rather than follow a traditional management route.

“It is about talent management,” says Sue Haines, assistant director of nursing, nursing development. “Registered nurses are a valuable resource. One nurse may want to be a staff nurse, developing skills in a particular specialty – and many do according to my research – so we must ensure the staff nurse role is valued, with interesting development opportunities, but we have to support nurses who are interested in advanced practice or clinical specialist careers while talent spotting and developing future nurse researchers and directors of nursing. We are committed to inclusive talent development. We don’t do that enough in nursing.” 

Mark Rigby, renal educator lead at the trust, shares that view. As a nurse with 28 years’ experience in renal, he set up and runs the renal clinical nurse specialist course at NUH. “The course previously run by the university cost about £800 per nurse and wasn’t meeting our needs as a trust or making our nurses better renal nurses so we set up our own,” he says.

The course sees nurses rotate around all areas: acute kidney injury, transplant, nephrology, elective, critical elective and dialysis units. They learn in practice and see the whole patient pathway.

There are 14 study days, three competency days and a multi-disciplinary timetable that exposes them to consultants, renal specialist nurses, and nurses from industry talking about renal devices, as well as transplantation talks from people working in tissue typing services.

“I’m passionate about nurse education as it results in better care,” says Mr Rigby. “One nurse said she feels better after completing the course, and can do her job more safely. That is surely what we want.”



Nicola Veater (pictured), renal nurse clinical specialist, says: “NUH was fl exible and allowed me to do the renal course part time as I have two small children. I did a six-month rotation around all the di erent renal areas, I went onto dialysis and the transplant clinic and it was really nice to see the whole picture. We got a weekly theory session. It was fun to sit down and have lectures every Friday. We have a main clinical lead for NUH to do teaching, but also had past NUH patients and donors and outside experts and it was great to get background info behind diseases.

I am now competent in doing peritoneal dialysis and haemodyalysis on my own, whereas I was previously doing it under supervision. I feel more confi dent in looking after patients and can support those who are rejecting their transplant, or reassure patients going for transplants.

Now I have these skills, I feel I can do my job properly, junior sta can ask me questions and I feel like I am a better nurse.”



Dan Buxton, advanced nurse practitioner, A&E, says: “I have been at NUH for ten years. I was attracted to the ANP course because of the autonomy – it is working at one of the highest clinical levels in nursing and our role makes a massive di erence to patients. Being an ANP has made a dfference to the way I practise, not my fundamental nursing care but the advanced skills of di erentiating patients and advancing their treatment plan. We do a masters to get the ANP.

The theoretical element of the course is attached to Nottingham University – we do history-taking and examination for example. In the second year, we do the work-based learning element – seeing patients supervised by a consultant – and presenting the management plan to the consultant. I am excited about this – improving patient care in one of the busiest A&Es in the country, and being able to show a di erent way for other nursing colleagues, it’s not just about going into management.”


Nurses and midwives have many opportunities to learn and develop at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust. We’re recruiting band 5 nurses and midwives across all specialties.

To find out where your career could lead with NUH, come and meet our team on 28 November (9am–5pm) at The Medical School Foyer, The Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham.

To interview on the day register online at or send your CV to

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