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Stoma care specialist nursing: a guide for clinical practice. In: White M, Perrin A (eds). London: Springer; 2023

A positive influence on stoma care practice

07 September 2023
Volume 32 · Issue 16

The importance of nurse education cannot be underestimated in the current NHS climate. The declining numbers of senior, experienced nurses in the NHS leaves a deficit in the availability of role models for nurses coming into the profession. In particular, clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) represent a group of highly experienced and focused senior nurses who traditionally have gained valuable experience over a period of many years. A recent Royal College of Nursing (RCN) review (2023) shows that nursing vacancy rates since 2017 have remained stubbornly high. According to the latest data, there are more than 40 000 nurse vacancies in the NHS in England alone. The challenge to replace this loss of expertise requires a definitive plan to future proof these posts and capture the very essence of that expertise for the next generation of specialist nurses.

The process of collating and editing chapters to produce a stoma care book has been a first for the Association of Stoma Care Nurses (ASCN) UK (White and Perrin, 2023). It proved to be a timely and immensely satisfying process, with contributions from experienced stoma care nurses (SCNs), other health professionals, including dietitians, and user groups. Each author was able to channel their knowledge and energy into an area of stoma care expertise, providing a unique and exclusive view of all aspects of stoma care, including specific stoma care management, skin problems, sexuality and resources for support for ostomates. We felt it was important to set the scene in the initial chapter, which discusses the role of the SCN and how, historically, this has developed, as well as an insight into the development of advanced nurse roles and how this corresponds with the national RCN agenda for nursing. CNS roles span more than just a clinical remit. Therefore, chapters also include reference to NHS national agendas, including the economic impact of stoma care prescribing and hopefully gives nurses an overview of the issues surrounding stoma care in the UK. ASCN UK guidelines (2019) and standards (2021) underpin many of the chapters and allow the reader the opportunity to seek more in-depth academic evidence to inform clinical practice. The information detailed in each chapter was peer reviewed at length and is an up-to-date, evidence-based book available to nurses worldwide.

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