Did you miss the latest #NurChat twitter debate about the enrolled nurse? Let us sum it up for you …
“Should we bring back the Enrolled Nurse?” was a NurChat discussion subject suggested by @cherylwilson2 who is an Enrolled Nurse. Enrolled Nurses have often been touched upon in NurChat debates and participants have extolled the practical virtues of the Enrolled Nurse. So, with recent reports stating the quality of fundamental care is lacking, this was an important subject to discuss in full.
The chat started by asking if anyone remembered the role of the EN? There were a few nurses who had trained as ENs and had either converted, or were still on Part 2 of the register. Many participants remembered ENs as having good hands-on skills and being experienced and committed.
@cherylwilson2 tweeted “I trained as an EN in 1986 to 1988, I am still on part 2of the NMC register”
@anniecoops stated “I had EN’s on ward when was sister (long ago) they were often the people who held the team together, experienced and committed”
@PamNelmes007 said “Remember EN’s I started my nurse journey as an EN”
One participant suggested that it was a sad day for nursing when the EN went:
@CarolineKin tweeted “It was a sad day for nursing when the disappeared. EN’s were valuable members of the team.”
Many agreed, @amnerisuk said “When I was sick post op with MRSA I was desperate for an EN’s care. RNs avoided me and I saw nice HCA’s with few skills”
Another participant stated that we should not bring back the EN; @Caltwit tweeted: “Should we bring back EN’s I don’t think so as we would create a 2 tier system pts already get confused by SN and HCA imagine adding EN”
The role of the Assistant Practitioner was discussed, with one of the participants, Assistant Practitioner @MissFBA tweeting “Some Trusts are now trying to “bridge the gap” between HCA and RN with the new AP role which some say is the new EN??”
@Jam3sPJ stated that the EN is “now superseded by Assistant Practitioners, allowing for a more responsive workforce”.
However it was pointed out that APs are unregulated. @MissFBA said: “The trouble with the AP role is that they are not registered where as the EN’s were”.
Why APs can’t be registered was discussed; @ChiefExecCWPT tweeted: “We need to give new professional roles a means of registration/recognition, without continuing to create new “Royal Colleges”“.
Finally, NurChat asked if we should bring back ENs? The full range of answers can be found in the transcript on the NurChat Blog, but one of the tweets which summed it up best was by @cherylwilson2, who said: “Let’s move with the times and if the AP’s are trained similarly lets get them on part 2 of the register - there’s room!”
I think that this is a great approach. Nursing is dynamic and we do have to move with the times but at the same time, if Assistant Practitioners are delivering fundamental care, we need to have regulation and registration. Nursing at any level is a highly skilled job and Enrolled Nurses did provide a middle ground which, according to recent reports, now seems to be lacking. Can Assistant Practitioners bridge this gap? I hope so, but in a safe and regulated way.
Teresa Chinn heads up NurChat for Newcross Healthcare Solutions - Nurchat is a fortnightly twitter chat for nurses exploring different topics that vary enormously.Anyone can suggest a NurChat discussion subject simply by tweeting @NurChat or by visiting the NurChat blog.