Lynne Currie, Linda Watterson

British Journal of Nursing, Vol. 18, Iss. 13, 09 Jul 2009, pp 816 - 824

This literature review was conducted to identify the attributes of an expert nurse and the direct and indirect impact they have on patient care, health-care organisations and nursing. Given the loss of expert nursing posts as a result of NHS deficits, there is an urgent need to differentiate between a range of expert nursing roles and how these contribute to positive patient and health outcomes and organisational efficiency. The focus of the literature search was on developments in the UK and the results indicated that ambiguity and confusion exist around the terminology and definitions associated with expert nurses. Research shows that expert nurses have a positive impact on patient care and organisational efficiency. However, a lack of clarity leads to a dilution of expert nursing roles and nurse expertise. There is a need for national guidance on the skills required of expert nurses and the necessity of considering the formal protection of nursing titles.

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