Education funding warning for neuro nurses

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Date: 18th Oct 2017

A Senior Lecturer behind the 2017 British Association of Neuroscience Nurses (BANN) Conference says she has serious concerns for the education of future neuroscience nurses.

Ruth Trout, Senior Lecturer in Acute Care and a BANN board member, said: "We are really short of neuro nurse education in this country.

“This is partly because the speciality is small, so cohorts of students are similarly small, making courses financially unviable from the education providers perspective.

“Plus, neuro has traditionally often been seen as the poor relation when funding is allocated from Trusts, with mentoring or leadership courses, for example, being given priority.

"Research I have conducted with two colleagues shows that internationally there may be as few as 30 per cent of neuro nurses working today who have formal education in the discipline, with many effectively learning on the job.

"This may not be reflection of UK figures and there is further study to be done on this as it may not be the whole picture. 

“Certainly, this comment does not question the professionalism or the fantastic job neuro nurses do under difficult circumstances, but even within the current constrained financial environment authorities should pay greater heed to the particular skills required for the role and consider allocation of more funding."

The Conference, at Jurys Inn Oxford Hotel and Conference Venue from 20-21 October, is themed around 'Putting our heads together: seamless care from crisis to community', focusing on issues including challenges of the multigenerational workforce; a model of hyper acute stroke care; and advances in neuromodulation technology for intractable headache. The community focus is particularly important as more patients are being treated at home.

More than 130  nurses working in neurosciences are set to attend the 46th annual conference for the organisation, which is affiliated to the World Federation of Neuroscience Nurses.

Ruth Trout will be presenting the results of research carried out with Dr Neal Cook, a Reader at Ulster University, and Dr Mary Braine, Senior Lecturer, University of Salford, into nurses' experience of using painful stimuli during Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) assessment.

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