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To sustain NHS senior nurses must be empowered, RCN says

Senior nurses working at an advanced level need to be empowered in order to make necessary changes in the health service, a report from the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Scotland claimed today.

Action is needed at all levels - from the Scottish Government, health boards and from integration joint boards - if advanced nurse practitioners (ANPs) are to drive the changes which are needed to transform Scottish health services, the report suggested.

Theresa Fyffe, RCN Scotland Director, said that the report provides “substantial evidence” of how ANPs currently in senior clinical decision-making roles are contributing to “the delivery of safe, high-quality, person-centered care in communities across Scotland” and indicates a “way forward” for a sustainable health service.

Commenting on the report Fyffe said: “There's a huge and largely untapped potential for advanced nurse practice to contribute to, and lead, new ways of delivering health and care services to ensure they're sustainable into the future.”

The report - Nurse Innovators: clinical decision-making in action - was published alongside seven case studies from ANPs currently working in senior decision-making roles in health boards across Scotland.

One case study is on the ANP service that is running out-of-hours services across Grampian. 

Linda Harper, associate nurse director of NHS Grampian said she hopes this report “will help highlight the potential of all nurses working at an advanced level of practice across Scotland...  At times, it's been challenging, particularly when I started out and was trying to establish the service, but overall it's been so rewarding and worthwhile, both personally and, I believe, for my patients.”