QNIS promotes excellence in community nursing to improve the health and wellbeing of the people of Scotland. Which begs the question, what do we mean by community nursing?
Community nursing can be broadly described as any nursing care provided outside of an acute hospital. This includes healthcare provided in the home, and also in other settings, for example within General Practice, a community hospital, the custody suite of a police station, a school or care home. There are a number of different roles and some of these are listed below:
Care Home Nurse
provides nursing care for those in residential care or nursing home setting.
Community Children’s Nurse
provides expert nursing care for children and families in their own homes.
Community Mental Health Nurse (Community Psychiatric Nurse)
provides specialist support to those with mental health issues in a range of community settings. There are specialist teams with particular expertise for example supporting children and young people or those with addictions.
Community Learning Disability Nurse
provides support to those with learning disabilities. From working in schools to residential and community centres or in the home, LD nurses support the health needs of people with learning disabilities, their families and carers.
provides midwifery support to women (and newborns up to 10 days old) at home and in community clinics.
Criminal Justice Nurse/Prison Nurse
works within the criminal justice setting – either in a prison, or a custody suite supporting people with a wide range of health issues, they are considered expert generalists across mental and physical health.
District Nurse (DN)
visits patients in their own homes. According to Scottish Government figures, 40% of all community nurses are DNs. A DN provides generalist nursing expertise – their skillset is broad, covering everything from advice and action on staying well, to coordination of complex care, wound care, and end of life care.
General Practice Nurse (GPN)
based in a GP surgery, works closely with General Practitioner colleagues. They provide support to those with long term conditions such as asthma, COPD and diabetes as well as provide travel health support and health screening. GPNs are increasingly Advanced Nurse Practitioners who see, treat and prescribe in their own right.
Health Visitor (HV)
helps new parents, babies and children through their early years. Health visitors offer a pathway of home visits and development checks, offering advice and support for the under 5s.
Homeless Outreach Nurse
works with and advocates for homeless people, typically with an expertise in public health and mental health. They support those who have found themselves homeless and excluded by tackling existing medical, personal and social problems to enable them improve their situation.
Nurses working in unscheduled care/out of hours
sees and treats patients out of core General Practice hours, working with GPs and paramedics. These nurses are often advanced nurse practitioners who prescribe in their own right.
Occupational Health Nurse
provides support designed to protect the health and wellbeing of people at work. Their role is one of public health, promoting healthy working conditions and preventing problems with health and wellbeing in the workplace.
Palliative Care Nurse
works with people at the end of their lives whether at home, or in a hospice or care home setting. Several large charities including MacMillan and Marie Curie are actively involved in supporting specialist community based palliative nursing care.
Public Health Nurse
plays a vital role in promoting and protecting the public’s health, working with defined populations or social groups.
Sexual Health Nurse
provides information, advice and counselling to individuals with a sexually transmitted infection (STI) playing a key role in helping people understand and manage their condition. They also have a vital role in prevention, raising awareness and helping people minimise the risk of transmission.
works within a school setting, often across a number of schools, providing support and advice, with an emphasis on public health and wellbeing.
There is also a range of specialist nurses working within Scotland’s communities including Looked-after Children’s Nurses, Treatment Room Nurses and Family Nurses. In addition there are specialist nurses whose roles focus on particular conditions, for example, cancer, asthma, diabetes or Parkinson’s disease.
There are also nurses working in a variety of roles in Scotland’s communities using their nursing skills to support well-being in small charities and outreach roles, for example Parish nurses.