Throughout the Society’s history, the rapid development of our discipline has driven the growth of endocrine education and training. Indeed, the advancement of scientific and clinical education is at the forefront of the Society’s objectives. We asked contributors to reflect on significant recent steps supporting the development of endocrinologists today.
EDUCATION AND TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES FOR NURSES
The primary goals of nursing education within endocrinology have evolved dramatically over the years. Nurses have to be prepared to meet diverse patients’ needs, to function as leaders and to advance science that benefits patients and develops the capacity of health professionals to deliver safe, high quality, evidence-based patient care.
At the same time, nursing education needs to be transformational, to prepare nurses to work collaboratively and effectively with other health professionals in a complex and evolving healthcare system in a variety of endocrine settings.
Early career nurses require enablers to allow them to evolve and become the future leaders in endocrine nursing. This is underpinned by academic preparation. Nurses who are more advanced in their practice require level 7 or 8 graduate programmes and opportunities to apply for research grants etc., to progress and provide inspirational leadership for nurse-led care, demonstrating exemplary practice.
Advanced nurse practitioners and consultant nurses demonstrate expert clinical practice, advising on diagnosis and prognosis. They have advanced history-taking skills, prescribe and can efficiently implement and run nurse-led clinics, which optimise operational and service development. They become enablers to set, monitor and audit standards, locally and nationally. They are able to develop and provide educational activities to support and enhance effective evidence-based multi-disciplinary clinical practice.
Nurses have to be prepared to meet diverse patients’ needs, to function as leaders and to advance science that benefits patients and develops the capacity of health professionals to deliver safe, high quality, evidence-based patient care.
Over the last 20 years, the Society for Endocrinology’s Nurse Committee has identified these learning needs and has successfully launched the following four major initiatives to develop the role of the endocrine nurse.
THE COMPETENCY FRAMEWORK
The Competency Framework for Adult Endocrine Nursing is now in its second edition,1 with the third in progress. It focuses on core knowledge, skills and interventions that are specific to nurses working as adult endocrine nurses. The Competency Framework is designed to enhance the professional development of endocrine nurses by helping them:
• deliver consistently high standards of care
• identify their level of practice and plan a career in a more structured way
• pinpoint personal educational and developmental needs
• realise their potential more effectively
• seize opportunities to influence the direction of nursing.
Worth 40 credits (level 7), the Oxford Brookes/Society for Endocrinology Masters double module is suitable for distance learning for nurses across the UK and worldwide (www.endocrinology.org/careers/training-and-resources/courses/masters-level-module-in-endocrine-nursing).
It complements a wide range of nursing courses already provided by Oxford Brookes University. The credits can be directly counted towards the Oxford Brookes University MSc in Health Sciences or transferred to Masters-level qualifications at other institutions.
The module is ideal for endocrine nurses who are familiar with reflective portfolios and working with the Society’s Competency Framework for Adult Endocrine Nursing. Academic rigour is assured by assigning an academic mentor to support the nurse candidate in completing a reflective essay. The student also has a clinical mentor.
The Society is able to offer a small number of scholarships to fund registration with Oxford Brookes University.
FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR RESEARCH
The Society for Endocrinology Nurse Committee encourages nurse members to undertake small audit or research projects, focusing on potential ways to improve nursing or clinical practice.
The Endocrine Nurse Grant provides financial support to complete a project from beginning to end or to gather preliminary data to support a larger piece of work.
You may only need a small sum, but you can apply for amounts up to £5,000 for larger projects.
THE PRESTIGIOUS NIKKI KIEFFER MEDAL
In honour of the great work that nurse member Nikki (Veronica) Kieffer contributed to our Society, the Endocrine Nurse Award has been replaced with the Nikki Kieffer Medal from 2021.
In honour of the great work that nurse member Nikki (Veronica) Kieffer contributed to our Society, the Endocrine Nurse Award has been replaced with the Nikki Kieffer Medal from 2021. This medal recognises individuals who have demonstrated innovative and successful nurse-led initiatives in the endocrine field that have advanced best practice in patient care, education, or research.
Nikki sadly passed away in 2019. She was the inaugural winner of the Endocrine Nurse Award, and a key part of our Society, where she served as Chair of the Nurse Committee, led the development and publication of the Competency Framework for Adult Endocrine Nursing and championed the creation of the Oxford Brookes/Society for Endocrinology Masters module in Endocrine Nursing.
Endocrine Lead Nurse, Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism
Read the other articles in this issue on the evolution of education and training in endocrinology:
TRANSFORMING TEACHING IN HIGHER EDUCATION
FROM PhD TO FELLOWSHIP: CREATING A NICHE
THE NEW CURRICULUM IN ENDOCRINOLOGY AND DIABETES