Evaluating nurse consultants’ work through key informant perceptions
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Evaluating nurse consultants’ work through key informant perceptions

Sabi Redwood Senior lecturer, Bournemouth University;
Hilary Lloyd Principal lecturer, Nursing practice development and research, City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, Sunderland;
Eloise Carr Reader, Bournemouth University;
Helen Hancock Research fellow, Northumbria University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne;
Robert McSherry Principal lecturer practice development, University of Teesside, Middlesbrough;
Steve Campbell Principal lecturer practice development, University of Teesside, Middlesbrough;
Iain Graham Chair in nursing development, Bournemouth University, Dorset

Aim To evaluate the work of nurse consultants in the NHS by exploring the views of key informants and nurse consultants.

Method A multi-site evaluative study commissioned by and undertaken in four trusts. The evaluation was based on the 360 degree feedback process and used case study methodology, inviting key informants to provide information on their work with nurse consultants.

Findings The findings are discussed in relation to the following themes: role aspirations and lived reality; challenging boundaries; impact and outcomes and leadership. The findings concur with previous studies demonstrating a series of common themes associated with leadership, clinical expertise, research and educational activity. These findings express the ways in which nurse consultants are working to develop unique services to meet patient needs.

Conclusion The nurse consultant has an important role in the modernisation of the NHS. The role’s impact, in terms of the informants, is in leadership, clinical expertise, research and educational activity. The findings reveal an urgent need to support consultant nurses in developing their leadership potential and skills in researching practice.

Nursing Standard. 21, 17,35-40. doi: 10.7748/ns2007.01.21.17.35.c6394

Correspondence

sredwood@bournemouth.ac.uk

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review