Modernising Nursing Careers: Setting the Direction

Modernising Nursing Careers

Message from Paul Martin, Chief Nursing Officer, Scotland

Photo of Paul Martin, Chief Nursing Officer, Scotland

Health is one of the responsibilities of the devolved administration in Scotland. This means that health policy in Scotland is different from the other three countries of the United Kingdom. But much of nursing remains the same. Nurses in Scotland have the same core values as those of our colleagues in other parts of the United Kingdom. Nurses in Scotland want a vibrant and flexible career structure and they value the opportunities to expand and develop their roles and capabilities.

The Scottish Executive has set out its priorities for the NHS over the next decade in Delivering for Health which describes services based on:

  • a fundamental shift in the way the NHS works, from an acute, hospital-driven service to one that is community based
  • a focus on meeting the twin challenges of an ageing population and the rising incidence of long term conditions
  • a concentration on preventing ill-health and treating people faster and closer to home
  • a determination to develop responses that are proactive, modern, safe and embedded in communities.

Nurses and midwives have a key role in achieving this vision. We need to support and empower them to enable continual improvements in the experiences and outcomes of care by doing more of what patients and carers want. Patient-focused care must be the aim and nurses and midwives must be key influencers in the delivery of services that meet patients' needs.

We are investing heavily in our nursing and midwifery workforce. This investment ranges from the recently introduced one year development programme for all newly-qualified nurses, midwives and allied health professionals - Flying Start NHS. Another major investment which will affect all nurses and midwives is the workload project which is looking to recommend national tools to allow measurement, comparison and benchmarking of the workload of all staff across acute and primary care, mental health, children's nursing and midwifery. These are just two examples of a whole range of work currently underway. We believe that our staff are our biggest asset and we want to do all we can to make their job satisfying and rewarding.

Modernising Nursing Careers is an initiative which builds on this theme. It provides a direction of travel and a framework upon which each of the UK countries can build to develop the nursing workforce of today and the future. Some actions and solutions will be unique to Scotland, but many will require a UK-wide approach. I commend this document to you and anticipate that we will all rise to the challenges presented within it.

Signature of Paul Martin, Chief Nursing Officer, Scotland

September 2006

From Christine Beasley, Chair of the Modernising Nursing Careers Board and Chief Nursing Officer, England

"The world of nursing is changing rapidly, patient and user expectations are increasing and health reforms are altering professional roles and how services are delivered. In this report, we have looked at what nursing careers need to look like in the future and make recommendations to ensure a rewarding career for nurses as well as a confident, high quality service for patients and users.

I would like to thank all those people who have contributed to this report and for helping us take the first step on the journey to modernising nursing careers."

Signature of Christine Beasley, Chair of the Modernising Nursing Careers Board and Chief Nursing Officer, England

September 2006

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