In 1887, to mark Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, the Queen’s Jubilee Institute of Nursing was founded. Since then the Queen’s Nursing Institutes across the UK trained district nurses until the 1960s. Those who undertook their community training with the QNI or QNIS were entitled to use the title Queen’s Nurse. Queen’s Nurses were the first registered nurses in the UK. The Queen’s Nursing Institutes had a complete register of nurses for more than 20 years before state registration was achieved in 1919.
130 years after the Queen’s Jubilee Institute of Nursing was established, the title will be reintroduced to Scotland in 2017. It will be awarded to clinical leaders who can demonstrate their impact as expert practitioners. They may be in any community-based nursing role. New Queen’s Nurses might be learning disabilities nurses, criminal justice nurses, general practice nurses, community mental health nurses, school nurses, health visitors, community midwives or district nurses. They are likely to be senior practitioners, at level 6/7 of the NHS career framework.
We currently have the funding to support the development of 20 Queen’s Nurses per year. The first group of Queen’s Nurses will be chosen to represent the geography of Scotland and the range of community nursing specialities. We will be looking for candidates from independent and third sector employers in addition to NHS staff. The number of new Queen’s Nurses will build year on year.
Given that there are currently only twenty funded places each year, we are working with the Executive Nurse Directors in NHS Scotland and nurse leaders from the third and independent sector who have been invited to nominate candidates. Those nominated will then apply using a written application to demonstrate their skills against the Excellence Profile. Candidates will be shortlisted on the basis of written applications and invited to attend one of three regional selection events. The final selection will be made by a national panel made up of assessors from the regional selection events.
The Queen’s Nursing Institute (constituted as a separate charity to cover England, Northern Ireland and Wales) now has over 1,000 Queen’s Nurses. The Queen’s Nurses in England, Northern Ireland and Wales, have a growing reputation for influencing policy nationally and locally as Queen’s Nurses. Queen’s Nurses are profiled and are increasingly being asked to be shadowed by politicians, civil servants and other senior staff. We hope to build on this reputation with a particular emphasis on integrated working, public health, and addressing inequalities within Scotland’s communities.
The QNI has a programme which is well established and the Queen’s Nurses have a reputation for excellence. The award is made by QNI following a robust written application process including the views of managers and those who receive care from the Queen’s Nurses. After many conversations with community nursing leaders across Scotland, QNIS has decided to adopt a significantly different model which we believe adds value and is right for Scotland. The programme requires those nominated to undertake a contemporary and inspiring development programme before the Queen’s Nurse Title is awarded.
The programme consists of a five day residential workshop, monthly coaching for nine months and two further workshops. During the programme every candidate will be expected to work on an issue for development which makes a difference to their community, based on a need which they have identified with a sponsor (senior manager) from their organisation.
The Queen’s Nurse Title is awarded for life, by renewing every year. There is an expectation that Queen’s Nurses continue to act as ambassadors for the role and invest in their own development as leaders of practice and service development. There will be annual events and masterclasses for Queen’s Nurses, funded by QNIS, to stay connected with one another and with the Institute. Queen’s Nurses will renew each year by completing an update form telling the Institute what they have done to make a difference and act as an ambassador for QNIS.