A greater focus on nurse leadership is needed to break down the barriers to nurse-led clinical practice, according to Dr Peter Carter, chief executive and general secretary of the RCN.
At his closing address to the Nurse Clinics Conference at the Hallam Conference Centre in London Dr Carter focused on the importance of leadership at all levels of nursing to drive through innovations and positive change in the NHS. While there had been progress in this area, he said there were still barriers to nurses being able to properly lead clinical practice.
Talking about nurse-led clinics, Dr Carter described the research carried out by the RCN, which showed the benefits of nurse-led clinics as well as specialist nursing posts, both of which can save the NHS money in the long-term.
Looking to the future, Dr Carter reiterated the RCN's calls for mandatory regulation and training programmes for healthcare assistants, adding that everyone who cares for patients should be trained and competent for the role, which requires efficient and effective regulation.
Dr Carter said: 'Good leadership is taking place every day at all levels of nursing but often isn't recognized - this is something which the RCN's This is Nursing initiative hopes to change.
'Good practice and leadership needs to be shared as much as possible to inspire the nurse leaders of tomorrow.'