Journal of Community Nursing - page 8

2013,Vol 27, No 4
Celtic tigers are
earning their stripes
Healthcare news in the UK often appears to be dominated by Westminster
politics and the London-based media, so we asked the chief nursing officers
(CNOs) of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales about how they see the
future of community nursing in their respective countries.
t is a great privilege to be asked
to contribute to the first issue
of the redesigned
Journal of
Community Nursing
. But before I do,
can I make a quick confession — I
am not a community nurse. I have
never held a community nursing
post, nor do I hold a community
nursing qualification. In fact, most of
my practice has been in acute care.
However, with many years
of experience under my belt and
exposure to the whole spectrum of
health care, I believe that the public
do not differentiate acute, primary
and community care in the same
way that nurses do — they see us
all as part of the same community
service and quite rightly expect us
to be working together. If that’s the
case, maybe we should consider all
nursing as community nursing?
Let me explain what I mean. I
know that community nurses are
to operate in a different world
which is truly person-centred and
maximises the opportunity of the
information and digital age.
The Scottish Government’s
Everyone Matters: 2020 Workforce
sets out the values and vision
for the workforce in Scotland,
Modernising Nursing in the
provides some of the
tools community nurses need to
bring about that transformation.
However, it’s not just
community nurses who need to
adapt. Nurse leaders at all levels
must abandon their professional
and service silos and, most
importantly, create the conditions
that motivate and enable
community nurses to excel in
what they do.
For example, our community
nursing workload tools in Scotland
are enabling us to get a strategic
grip on staffing levels and workload
and we are preparing to implement
a new approach to education
and continuing professional
development following my
education review.
Community nursing has
always been a vibrant practice area
characterised by diverse roles and,
crucially, the courage to evolve and
progress for the good of patients
and wider society. I have great
confidence that you will rise to
today’s challenges in the same way.
rightly proud of the independent
decision-making, complex skills
and relationship-building they
employ when working with people
in their homes, as opposed to
service settings, and that they
fervently protect their distinct
identity and tradition in an
increasingly complex world.
However, looking ahead, we all
know that the demands on health
care and the circumstances in which
it will be delivered will be radically
different. As nurses, we must ensure
that we continue to provide the high
quality health service that people
expect and deserve.
We must collectively recognise
and respond to the most immediate
and significant challenges we face
— which in Scotland, include our
public health record, our changing
demography and the economic
Our vision for health care in
Scotland in 2020 heralds changes
that are profound and will not be
addressed by regressive thinking. For
me, the vision requires all nurses to
be ‘community nurses’ (or at least a
‘community of nurses’), able to work
together as partners with patients
and carers and with other health and
social care staff.
That is not to say that we do not
need a cadre of dedicated community
nurses — quite the opposite. But, we
must ensure that they are equipped
Ros Moore, Chief Nursing Officer,
Scottish Government.
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