Link Nurses are defined as qualified nurses, working in clinical areas within the NENC-CHD Network, who take responsibility for participating in the care of a patient (child or adult) with congenital heart disease.
Link nurses will develop relationships with staff in the specialist centres, with the aim of improving communication channels and facilitating education of other staff within their area of work.
Local link nurses will be identified in all centres across the North East and North Cumbria regional Network.
Link nurses are not specialist nurses but are nurses with a keen interest in patients with congenital cardiac conditions. They will be offered the opportunity to visit the specialist centre with a plan to understand the patient journey and experience the service delivered at the specialist centre.
This programme of development will be underpinned by competencies aligned with the CHD service standards countable towards revalidation, CPD and appraisal.
The Network education programme will be available to the workforce across the region. Link nurses will have the opportunity to collaborate with this programme and deliver education and training as appropriate, empowering nurse to take on additional roles to upskill and develop in this specific field.
The desired outcome of the ongoing education programme will be an increase in expertise and confidence in the clinical teams caring for patients with congenital heart disease.
Nurses make up the largest clinical group involved with CHD care in our region: community care – nursing, health visitors, district nursing teams; midwives, specialist nurses, link nurses / nurses with interest, bereavement and palliative care teams, GP practice nurses, hospital ward nurses.
Representation from this vast group would enable the development of stakeholder engagement group to support education, training and development with the aim of:
· Developing knowledge and skills of common conditions in CHD
· Understanding of specific nursing care considerations
· Overall awareness of services and resources available in the Network
· Greater understanding of the CHD impact on the whole patient journey
· Improved communication, collaborative working and pathway development
The development of link nurses presents challenges, including the geographical area and the visibility of the NENC-CHD Network in its infancy.
The role of the lead nurse will be to highlight the good education and training practice currently implemented across the region; engage with those with interest in CHD and provide opportunities to develop collaborative working. This will involve visiting centres and working alongside teams, raising awareness of the Network aims and objectives and undertaking skills assessments with teams. Educational webinars will be made available to workforce across region via the Network website.
These are the areas that the Network is hoping to identify link nurses in. If you are interested in becoming a link nurse, please feel assured that this job is for you!
The expectations of the Link Nurse role is to enable the lead nurse to communicate effectively with teams across the region, to share information and to join up teams within the Network to share best practice. A keen interest in developing the Link Nurse role to support local patients receiving care closer to home as the link between the region and the specialist centre.
If this sound interesting, please don't hesitate to get in touch with the Network's lead nurse Kaye Walsh firstname.lastname@example.org 0752 186 8033