A programme that supports nurses’ wellbeing, delivers training and focuses on improving patient care is being launched at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust tomorrow (Thursday 12 May).
The Professional Nurse Advocate (PNA) programme launched nationally in March 2021, towards the end of the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and is funded by NHS England. The national target is to be able to have one PNA for every 20 nurses.
Professional Nurse Advocates at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust will be in the main atrium of Walsall Manor Hospital between 11am and 1pm tomorrow, International Nurses’ Day, to promote the role.
Practice Placement Manager Ruth Gilks, who is a qualified Aromatherapist, will be offering 10-minute hand massages at tomorrow’s event.
Lorna Kelly, Associate Director of Research and Professional Development, said: “We are proud to be able to launch the PNA role here in Walsall and what better time than International Nurses’ Day when the spotlight is on our fantastic nursing colleagues.
“The programme benefits both staff and patients. For staff it offers support with their learning and development as well as emotional and practical support to those who may have been involved in difficult or distressing situations. This helps build their personal and professional resilience.
“If our staff know they have this support the care they provide to our patients will be of a high standard.”
PNA training provides those on the programme with skills to facilitate restorative supervision to their colleagues and teams, in nursing and beyond. A version of this programme exists already for maternity colleagues, where outcomes point to improved staff wellbeing and retention, alongside improved patient outcomes. The training equips them to listen and to understand challenges and demands of fellow colleagues, and to lead support and deliver quality improvement initiatives in response.
This programme is the first of its kind for nursing not just in England, but across the world, and follows the AEQUIP (Advocating and Educating for QUality ImProvement) model of professional nursing leadership and clinical supervision.
Lorna added: “As well as speaking to our nurses and student nurses tomorrow we are looking forward to raising awareness of the role among patients whose experiences and feedback are vital to help us improve care and shape future services.”
Walsall Healthcare has four trained PNAs and nine in training.