Disseminating Specialist Practice in the acute hospital: The value of a network nurse programme

B. Jack, M. Gambles, P. Saltmarsh, D. Murphy, T. Hutchinson, J. Ellershaw

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


The expansion of clinical nurse specialist posts has subsequently seen a growth in programmes developed to disseminate information from the specialist nurse to general nurses. Usually there is a nurse from each ward/locality allocated to the programme who is then known as the link or network nurse. The positive effects of link nurses are reported as helping to improve communication �6 poster abstracts between specialist teams and managers, introduce new practices and potentially enhance patient care (McKeeney (200�). However there is little published evaluation on the perceptions of the link nurses as to their role and impact or on the most effective programme, with wide variations in existence (Tinley, 2000; McKenney 200�). The aim of this study was to explore the hospital palliative care network nurses perceptions of the role and programme in an acute hospital setting. Method A confidential descriptive survey was distributed to all �1 palliative care network nurses via the internal hospital mail system. �� questionnaires were returned (80% response rate). The survey contained both open and closed questions that explored the impact of attending the network programme. Data was analysed using descriptive statistics. Open ended questions were analysed for emerging themes. Results and Discussion The nurses reported the programme to be beneficial in providing them with increased palliative care knowledge. Support and networking opportunities were also identified. Additionally the personal benefit of being a network nurse that included an increased confidence and empowerment to care for the dying patients and their families was highlighted. This paper discusses the programme and the findings from the study and suggestions for further research are made.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2006
EventRoyal College of Nursing (RCN) International Nursing Research Conference - York Racecourse, York, United Kingdom
Duration: 21 Mar 200624 Mar 2006


ConferenceRoyal College of Nursing (RCN) International Nursing Research Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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