Consultant nurse–consultant physician: a new partnership for patient-centred care?

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Graham, IW 2007, 'Consultant nurse–consultant physician: a new partnership for patient-centred care?', Journal of Clinical Nursing, vol. 16, no. 10, pp. 1809-1817.

The publisher's version of this article is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2702.2007.01816.x

Peer Reviewed



Aims and objectives. The aim was to describe the process of role transition by an individual who has assumed the position of a consultant nurse in cardiovascular health care. The objective was to explain the 'gestalt' of being a consultant nurse and how the 'gestalt' has evolved. Background. The development of the consultant nurse role is new, research has described the value and potential contribution of the role. The literature suggests that the role still requires further evaluation and description to be understood better. Design. A free-association narrative interview method was chosen as the research design. Method. An in depth interview, tape-recorded and analysed along with field note analysis was the method for eliciting the narrative. Results. The analysis of the narrative reveals an emerging 'gestalt' for being a consultant nurse. Various concepts and phenomena attributable to the role are identified from the experience described. The gestalt explains the journey of the individual through an 'apprenticeship' to role attainment, whereby a new sense of professional self or 'Me' is realized. Conclusion. The significance of the paper lies in the analysis of the narrative and the insights it gives to help other aspirant consultant nurses. It is through the understanding of these insights that individuals could plan their own learning and development to be achieved in the role of consultant nurse. Relevance to clinical practice. To be effective and provide effective patient care, one can argue that appropriate learning needs to take place. Those that have been appointed to the role have battled to find achievement and acceptance. These battles may be made easier to win if the role is better understood and appropriate preparation provided. Only then will the real potential of the role be realized in improved patient care outcomes.

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