EEAST announces new pathway for nurses looking to "join frontline"

East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust announces new pathway for nurses

East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) has announced a new pathway for nurses to “transfer their skills to frontline pre-hospital care”.

Through the pathway, pre-hospital nurse practitioners with a professional registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council participate in an induction and training programme for up to 30 weeks and work on the frontline alongside paramedics and other pre-hospital clinicians, working to a similar scope of practice to a paramedic.

After being introduced in November of 2022, the initiative is said to have “received excellent feedback from the nurses who have already made the move to pre-hospital practice at EEAST”.

David Young, part of the first group of 14 nurses to go through the programme, said: “Traditionally this type of role was never open to nurses and I had considered undertaking further study to become a paramedic during my 22 years as a nurse, but I never found the right time in my career to make the switch before this course. This role allows me to apply my previous nursing experience, but also to learn some challenging new skills such as emergency trauma care, advanced life support for all age ranges and emergency obstetric care.”

Melissa Dowdeswell, director of nursing and interim COO at EEAST, commented: “This new programme allows nurses to transfer their extensive knowledge, experience and skills to working in a pre-hospital setting working alongside paramedics and other frontline clinicians. The feedback from nurses on the programme and the support provided has been excellent which is why we are looking to expand the programme to further bolster our workforce. The specialist skills that pre-hospital practitioners bring to EEAST will help enhance the service we provide to our communities.”

Elsewhere in nursing, Health Education England (HEE) has partnered with the Florence Nightingale Foundation (FNF) to provide a Leadership Programme for nurses and midwives, from a diverse background working within the NHS in England.  

In other pre-hospital news, the UK government has announced the opening of six new ambulance hubs along with the opening and upgrading of 42 discharge lounges across the country, as part of efforts to help cut urgent and emergency care waiting times.