District Nursing Today

The UK’s District Nurse workforce is under severe threat due to long-term underinvestment in training, education and skills, posing a direct threat to patient safety, according to independent report, commissioned by the Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI)

Image source: http://www.qni.org.uk

Findings of a new report reveal an evolving healthcare workforce crisis, set against a backdrop of rising demand for district nursing services across all UK regions.

This study shows that for District Nurses (DNs), working conditions, pay, education and training have not improved since the previous QNI report was published (2014). If anything, conditions, lack of support and career development for DNs has deteriorated further, leading to:


  • Working large amounts of unpaid overtime: One in five (22%) of respondents work a day or more of unpaid overtime each week.
  • An ageing workforce heading for retirement: 46% of respondents planning to either retire or leave in the next six years
  • Lack of IT support to do the job efficiently: 36% of respondents reported that Information Technology, or lack access to efficient IT systems, connectivity and support infrastructure is one of the main factors making their role more difficult to sustain
  • The lack of training and development available to District Nurses is a key factor reported to be influencing those looking to leave the profession.
  • Unmanageable caseloads per individual is cited as another challenging factor with almost 30% of teams having a caseload of over 400 patients/people
  • Insufficient time to devote proper care to patients. 63% respondents say they defer visits or delay the delivery of patient care on a daily basis
  • Stagnation and lack of progression in the workforce: 75% of respondents state they have vacancies or ‘frozen posts’ in their teams
  • No administrative support: 28% of respondents have no access to administrative support staff
  • Variation in pay of District Nurses acting as team leaders and significant regional variation in the pay band of District Nurses holding the Specialist Practitioner Qualification.

Full report: District Nursing today: the view of District Nurse Team Leaders in the UK

See also: Sharp Decline in District Nursing Workforce Poses Direct Threat to Patient Safety | QNI

RCN: 100 years of nursing: Always Caring, Always Nursing campaign

Royal College of Nursing | September 2019 | Always Caring, Always Nursing

This year the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is celebrating 100 years of professional nursing with the anniversary of the Nurses Registration Act 1919. In the coming months, they’ll be celebrating the personal stories of nurses from across the UK who have dedicated their careers to caring for people with skill, care and compassion.

nmc.org.uk always-caring-always-nursing
Image source: nmc.org.uk always-caring-always-nursing

View the 100 years of professional pride timeline 

Read the stories of four dedicated nurses:

Jan’s story

Claire’s story 

Alison’s’ story 

Leanne’s story 

The General Practice Nurse Education Network

General Practice Nurse Education Network | August 2019 | The General Practice Nurse Education Network

This network is part of a number of initiatives arising from the General Practice Nursing 10 point plan. The General Practice Nurse Education Network  (GPNEN)  provides a repository of online resources to assist those nurses working in General Practice to have a “one-stop shop” when looking for continuing professional development initiative and support. adult-blood-care-1350560

It also works to provide a framework for GPN practice education roles within primary care. Provide guidance and resources to primary care about how the new Nursing and Midwifery Standards for student supervision and assessment are applied

It also provides information for student nurses and those new to General Practice Nursing (Source: GPNEN).

A range of resources are available from the GPNEN

Full details about the Network are available from the General Practice Nurse Education Network

Celebrate Me: Capturing the voices of learning disability nurses and people who use services

Foundation of Nursing Studies | June 2019| Celebrate Me Capturing the voices of learning disability nurses and people who use services

Celebrate Me Capturing the voices of learning disability nurses and people who use services celebrates the impact of learning disability (LD) nursing and what the Foundation of Nursing Studies (FoNS)  should be championing for the future (to sustain LD nursing). The report includes engagement activities and more details via words
and graphic art, representing what people shared and contributed.

Image source: fons.org

Full details from Foundation of Nursing Studies



Nursing careers resource

Royal College of Nursing | May 2019 | Nursing careers resource

The Royal College of Nursing and Health Education England have developed a new resource to help registered nurses and the clinical support workforce plan their health careers effectively. 

The resource has been developed to:

  • showcase the different roles within health care via a range of scenarios
  • include a case study and a video or podcast of a registered nurse or clinical support worker currently working in that role
  • enable you to identify an area of practice that you hope to enjoy
  • help you to understand how you might make this change
  • identify what education or training you might need to plan and undertake
  • highlight career options from these roles.

Nursing careers resource

See also: RCN Website launched to help nurses plan their career [press release]

Outstanding Models of District Nursing Report

The Queen’s Nursing Institute | May 2019 | Outstanding Models of District Nursing Report

Outstanding Models of District Nursing Report is a new report from the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI), it  calls for urgent investment in District Nursing, as new figures show the number of District Nurses working in the NHS has dropped by almost 43 percent in England alone in the last decade.

Image source: qni.org.uk

The report presents a blueprint for the District Nursing service, it calls for a commitment to investment and training to meet the challenges caused by simultaneous rising patient demand and falling numbers of these highly-qualified staff.

The NHS Long Term Plan has identified the District Nursing service, which provides vital care for people in their own homes and in the community, as a key part of this strategy.

See also:

The Queen’s Nursing Institute [press release] Outstanding Models of District Nursing Report

Royal College of Nursing [press release] Urgent investment in district nursing needed as nurse numbers fall

The Health Foundation: How do you make nursing a more attractive profession?

The Health Foundation | April 2019 | How do you make nursing a more attractive profession?

Professor Linda Aiken from the University of Pennyslvania recently spoke about  how the US has tackled its nursing shortage over the last few decades, allowing nurses to provide the highest quality care while delivering better nurse satisfaction and retention. Her pioneering research has created an evidence base showing the importance of improving nurse work environments. 


Professor Aiken outlines how a nursing shortage was addressed

  •  by improving staffing levels so that nurses had more time to spend with each patient
  • giving nurses more autonomy in their practice
  • more involvement in hospital decision making.
  • rewarding nurses with higher education and created opportunities for career progression.

All those things together, plus increasing demand for nurses which drove up salary levels, helped to make nursing a career to aspire to (Source: The Health Foundation).

Read the full piece from the Health Foundation