There is still a lack of “robust” evidence on the impact of nurse consultants in UK healthcare, more than a decade after the role was introduced, according to Sheffield Hallam University researchers.
Nurse consultants were introduced in England in 2000 with the intention to achieve better outcomes for patients by improving quality and services.
The researchers reviewed 36 studies on the role, with the aim of to identifying indicators for demonstrating their impact on patient and professional outcomes.
Writing in the Journal of Advanced Nursing, the authors said: “The findings suggest a largely positive influence of nurse consultants on a range of clinical and professional outcomes, which map onto the proposed framework of impact. However, there was very little robust evidence and the methodological quality of studies was often weak.”
They added: “Further robust research is required to explore nurse consultants’ impact on patient and professional outcomes.”
- Kennedy F, et al. Evaluation of the impact of nurse consultant roles in the United Kingdom: a mixed method systematic literature review. Journal of Advanced Nursing. September 2011.