QNI News

Education & Societies

Community Nursing Innovation Programme Receives Stellar Evaluation

The Queen’s Nursing Institute has published new research into its Fund for Innovation and Leadership programme for community nurses.

The work was undertaken by Ros Bryar, Professor Emeritus at City University, London, who has written the research report, ‘Rising Stars’.

The report asked two key questions:

1. What was the impact of the award on patients/families/communities?

2. What was the impact of the award on the personal and professional development of the project leaders?

The report was based on an online survey completed by 71 former participants in the scheme, representing 57 separate projects, followed up by telephone interviews. Headline findings include:

  • All respondents indicated that their project had met some or all of its aims to improve patient care (paragraph 4.1)
  • 65% of projects had continued beyond the project year, in many cases adopted by commissioners into mainstream services (paragraph 4.1.2)
  • 47% of respondents indicated that the programme had inspired them to undertake further educational qualifications (paragraph 4.2.5).

Professor Bryar said,

‘The report shows that the project funding supported innovation in community services for a wide range of patient groups, but for me, the unexpected finding was the feeling that the nurses expressed of being given support, respect and recognition by QNI for their ideas and abilities in a way that they had never previously experienced in their careers, and the impact that this had on their confidence and motivation to continue to be innovators in community nursing.’

Dr Crystal Oldman, the QNI’s chief executive commented,

‘These projects have helped many thousands of patients and also assisted hundreds of nurses to realise their potential to implement innovation in practice.  The projects improve care for patients, families and carers directly and through sharing the learning, the nurses have advanced practice locally and regionally. Many former project leaders also become Queen’s Nurses, enabling them to take advantage of the continuing professional development that the QNI offers.’

Shirley Baines, speaking on behalf of the Burdett Trust said, ‘The Burdett Trust for Nursing is delighted to have funded this programme for the last five years, reflecting our main aim of improving healthcare through nurse-led initiatives.’

The report makes a number of key recommendations to the QNI about how the programme can be developed in future for maximum impact.

The Rising Stars report can be downloaded from the QNI’s website at http://www.qni.org.uk/for_nurses/project_funding/evaluation

QNI publishes report into General Practice Nursing

The report is based on an online survey completed by over 3400 General Practice Nurses (GPNs) during 2015.

The report, ‘General Practice Nursing in the 21st Century: A Time of Opportunity’ summaries some of the key challenges affecting the profession today. It is the largest and most up to date survey of GPNs, and the first carried out by the community nursing charity. It can be downloaded at: (http://qni.org.uk/campaigns/general_practice_nurse_survey)

Dr Crystal Oldman, QNI Chief Executive commented:

‘This survey validates the role of the General Practice Nurse and the support provided by nurses in General Practice at every point during a person’s life, from infancy, childhood, adolescence and adulthood, to middle and older age. They are a vital part of the healthcare system in every part of the UK.

‘The findings of the survey indicate some major challenges and opportunities which need to be addressed. The role of nurses in General Practice is expanding rapidly, and many of today’s nurses are now undertaking roles traditionally the reserve of GPs. There is a huge opportunity for increased investment in the General Practice Nurse workforce, to build the capacity of primary care, move more care to the community and closer to people’s own homes, and ease the pressures on A&E.

‘The survey findings will be useful to policy makers and workforce planners as they explore new models of care and meet the challenges of an older population with multiple and complex healthcare needs. The number of nurses planning to retire should be of major concern and we need to ensure that enough nurses are attracted to the profession so that patients can continue to receive high quality nursing care for themselves and their families when they attend the GP’s surgery.’

Headline findings of the survey:


  • 33.4% of General Practice Nurses are due to retire by 2020
  • Men are under-represented, comprising only 2.0% of the General Practice Nurse workforce
  • 43.1% did not feel their nursing team has the right number of appropriately qualified and trained staff to meet the needs of patients
  • At the time of the survey, 78.8% had considered preparation for NMC re-validation


  • 53.0% reported that their employer always supports their professional development
  • 10.6% hold an NMC recordable specialist practice qualification in General Practice Nursing
  • 32.6% of General Practice Nurses are independent prescribers
  • Just 27.0% of the employers offered placements for pre-registration nursing students, compared to 61.5% offering placements to medical students


  • 22.8% of nurses working in General Practice have two jobs
  • 32.6% of General Practice Nurses reported working evening sessions (after 6pm) and 18.5% work weekends
  • Over 38.3% indicated that they undertook visits to patients at home
  • Only 35% felt that their salary reflected their role within the practice
  • Salary and other terms and conditions such as annual leave entitlement vary widely

The QNI is developing a range of resources to support nurses working in General Practice. It has just launched a free online learning resource to support nurses who are new to General Practice based on the knowledge and expertise of nurses and educators working in the profession (http://qni.org.uk/transition/transition_to_general_practice_nursing),