Exploring the fundamental aspects of the Enhanced Recovery After Surgery nurse’s role
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Exploring the fundamental aspects of the Enhanced Recovery After Surgery nurse’s role

Angie Balfour Senior ERAS nurse and senior research nurse, Surgical Services, NHS Lothian, Edinburgh, Scotland
Jennie Burch Head of gastrointestinal nurse education, Academic Institute, St Mark’s Hospital, London, England
Imogen Fecher-Jones Perioperative medicine lead nurse, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, Southampton, England
Fiona Jill Carter South West Surgical Training Network and ERAS UK manager, Yeovil, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To be aware of the main principles of Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS)

  • To familiarise yourself with the main aspects of the ERAS nurse’s role

  • To understand how clearly defining the ERAS nurse’s role will assist in demonstrating its value

Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) is a multimodal, multidisciplinary programme that aims to limit surgical stress during the perioperative period. The importance of a facilitator to improve patients’ compliance with the ERAS pathway and ensure its successful implementation is described in the literature. This role is commonly undertaken by a nurse, but it is unclear what their role entails in practice.

Aim To investigate the common aspects of the role of the ERAS nurse, and similar roles.

Method A modified Delphi technique was used to explore the opinions of ERAS nurses, facilitators and their colleagues in the UK. A series of consensus statements on the role of the ERAS nurse were produced that were voted on and agreed via an online survey, then subsequently voted on at the seventh ERAS UK conference.

Results Six consensus statements were proposed and agreed in the second round of voting. In the final round of voting, consensus was reached on four of the six statements related to data collection, patient education, staff education and patient support throughout the pathway. The two statements that did not reach consensus were related to leadership and project management.

Conclusion It is hoped that by producing these consensus statements, the role of the ERAS nurse will be better understood by all members of multidisciplinary ERAS teams, particularly managers and decision-makers, and can be supported in the future.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2019.e11437

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software



Conflict of interest

None declared

Balfour A, Burch J, Fecher-Jones I et al (2019) Exploring the fundamental aspects of the Enhanced Recovery After Surgery nurse’s role. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2019.e11437


The authors would like to thank Irene Fitt and the ERAS UK members for their roles in the Delphi process and in developing the consensus statements

Published online: 11 November 2019

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