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Network set up for UK clinical nurse educators


Britain’s first national network for clinical nurse educators is to be launched in October.

The move is intended to raise the profile of clinical nurse educators, which the network’s creators say are now a “practical necessity” in modern healthcare settings.

It is the brainchild of Dr Bill Whitehead, head of the nursing department at the University of Derby, and Liz Allibone, head of clinical education and training at the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust.

Both have years of experience in clinical education and have led research projects in this field.

Dr Whitehead said: “We both found independently, through our research and personal experiences, that these roles are becoming increasingly essential in modern healthcare settings. 

Bill WhiteheadBill Whitehead

“Far from being an expensive luxury they are a practical necessity,” he added.

Ms Allibone described the new network as “a great opportunity” for the clinical nurse educator role.

“It’s is a huge step towards raising the profile and creating a recognised career pathway for the role of the clinically based nurse educator,” she said.

“It will also offer a much needed support network and promote the sharing of best practice nationally,” she added.

A workshop to discuss the role of the clinical nurse educator and to set out the guiding principles of the network is being held on 21 October at Derby University.

Those interested in attending the event or joining the event can contact Dr Whitehead via


Readers' comments (7)

  • bill whitehead

    This will be a great opportunity for Clinical Nurse Educators to share experiences and information. Initial decision on the purpose and structure of the network will be made at the workshop on 21 Oct. However, in the meantime, we've made a start by setting up a hash-tag on Twitter. This can be used for networking now #CNEnet

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  • Be interesting to see how many clinical educators actually educate rather than having to ensure their trusts meet targets set for insurance purposes

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  • bill whitehead

    Facebook group page

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  • Cheryl Prescott

    Sounds wonderful Bill.

    I am a Nurse Educator, originally from the UK but now living and working in Brisbane. I am in the process of developing a Community of Practice for NEs in my health service, for the very reasons you have outlined. It is good to see that we are all on the same page.

    I wish you good luck with your exciting initiative. Hope to read more about your group in the pages of the wonderful Nursing Times!

    You can connect with me on Twitter @AusNurseEd

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  • I am also originally from the UK but now live in Sydney and work as a clinical nurse educator. This is a great initiative especially for New graduates. We have alot of New grads coming through and in order to complete their program they have to do complete 6 competencies and ward specific competencies, which is good to assess thier clinical skills.
    Best of luck with implementing it

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  • bill whitehead

    Clinical Nurse Educator Network UK webpage

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  • bill whitehead

    Update on CNEnet: All going well with the network. We now have over 300 members, over 250 participants in our Facebook group and over 1100 Twitter followers. The 3rd of our national workshops will take place on 29 January at Chesterfield Royal Hospital and we already have a fourth booked in May. Our 2nd newsletter has just been distributed to members. The network has been involved in national consultations on the future of nurse education and has most importantly become what Liz and myself envisioned back in June 2014: a network to enable CNEs to communicate quickly and effectively to avoid isolation and continuous reinvention of the wheel. If you are a CNE or interested in the role don't hesitate to contact us.

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