The nurse consultant in mental health services: A national, mixed methods study of an advanced practice role

Journal article


Brimblecombe, N., Nolan, F., Khoo, Mary‐Ellen, Culloty, Leon, O'Connor, Kate and McGregor‐Johnson, Lindsay (2019). The nurse consultant in mental health services: A national, mixed methods study of an advanced practice role. Journal of psychiatric and mental health nursing. 26 (5-6), pp. 117-130. https://doi.org/10.1111/jpm.12533
AuthorsBrimblecombe, N., Nolan, F., Khoo, Mary‐Ellen, Culloty, Leon, O'Connor, Kate and McGregor‐Johnson, Lindsay
Abstract

INTRODUCTION:The nurse consultant is an advanced practice role providing expert clinical practice, consultancy and professional leadership. To date, few studies have examined this role within mental health services and none have described the professional characteristics of post holders. AIMS:The main aims of the study were to identify changes in nurse consultant numbers in mental health services, identify post holder characteristics and factors influencing number of posts. METHOD:We used a triangulated mixed methods approach comprised of a longitudinal examination of national workforce data, a national cross-sectional survey of post holder characteristics and semi structured interviews with directors of nursing. RESULTS:Of 58 mental health organisations, 51 (88%) responded, identifying 123 nurse consultant posts, and a range of 0-12 posts per organisation. One in 229 mental health nurses and 1 in 186 learning disability nurses was a nurse consultant. An average of 40% of nurse consultants' worktime was reported as being in clinical practice. Themes identified as important in relation to role sustainability were; cost and value, contribution of individual post holders, role clarity and domains of work. DISCUSSION:Nurse consultants are represented to a greater extent in the mental health service workforce than in nursing generally, but their roles often lack clarity. Attitudes of local professional leaders and national policies are likely to affect post numbers. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE:Developing and sustaining nurse consultant roles requires role clarity and active support from nurse leaders. Roles need to demonstrate their value to the clinical systems in which they work. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Brimblecombe, N., Nolan, F., Khoo, M.E., Culloty, L., O'Connor, K., and McGregor-Johnson, L. (2019). The nurse consultant in mental health services: a national, mixed methods study of an advanced practice role. Journal of psychiatric and mental health nursing, which has been published in final form at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/jpm.12533 This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.

KeywordsPhychiatric Mental Health
Year2019
JournalJournal of psychiatric and mental health nursing
Journal citation26 (5-6), pp. 117-130
PublisherWiley
ISSN1351-0126
1365-2850
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/jpm.12533
Web address (URL)https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jpm.12533
Publication dates
Print30 May 2019
Online12 Jul 2019
Publication process dates
Deposited11 Jun 2019
Accepted30 Apr 2019
Accepted author manuscript
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Open
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