Senior nurses at Noble’s Hospital are participating in a ‘back to the floor’ initiative to support nursing teams in the delivery of patient care, to enhance the quality of nursing care, share knowledge and experience and provide visible professional leadership.
Since July they have been undertaking one clinical shift each week on wards, initially within the Medical Division.
The roles of senior nurses are varied and diverse depending on individual posts and areas of responsibility. All senior nurses provide senior clinical professional leadership and management of teams of nurses across the hospital.
The ‘back to the floor’ initiative presents the opportunity for senior nurses to work alongside colleagues in delivering clinical nursing care, to support continuous quality improvement in patient care and experience. This has had the additional benefit of reducing the usage of agency nurses.
Feedback from those participating, ward staff, patients and the public regarding the initiative has been extremely positive.
The senior nurses involved are enjoying providing direct care and interacting with patients, their families and carers. While the principle of patient care remains the same, the exercise has provided an opportunity to develop new skills and update knowledge in relation to changes in medical treatments and interventions, pharmacology and advances in technology.
Ward staff have reported they feel valued and supported, and that senior nurses have gained an insight into the daily challenges they face, and the complex nature of contemporary nursing practice.
Kevin Hurst, Associate Chief Nurse, said:
‘The initiative has succeeded in raising the profile and diversity of senior nurses’ roles, and has enabled the sharing of knowledge and skills acquired over 200 years of combined practice and experience.
‘This has supported the development of relationships with staff, and provides an opportunity to help them consider changes to current practice as well as contributing to improvements in patient care.’
Patients and visitors have taken an interest in the initiative and provided valuable feedback, reporting that they welcome the opportunity to have experienced senior nurses delivering care.
The project has involved around 10 senior nurses so far and is planned to remain ongoing, with evaluation taking place as it develops.
Some of the Senior Nurses who have taken part in the 'back to the floor' project so far. From left, Sally Scott, Elizabeth McGowan, Tracy Kelly, Kevin Hurst, Gaynor Roberts and Cathie Quine