The role of the registered nurse working in a care, residential or nursing home is a highly skilled one, requiring an in-depth knowledge of long term conditions associated with ageing, managing complex multiple morbidities and frailty.

Nurses working in this setting will need to maintain a person- and relationship-centred approach to care, recognising that the care or nursing home is that person’s home as well as the place where care is delivered.

The kinds of nursing practice that may be needed are diverse, frequently delivered autonomously, while liaising with many other health and social care professionals. It is also vital to build good relationships with staff, residents, family members and others.

Nursing homes can be privately owned by individuals, run by charities, or local councils. The level of support to residents varies from one home to another. In care homes without nursing, registered nurses from the community and primary care visit the home to provide nursing as needed. In homes with nursing care, registered nurses are employed to provide 24 hour care and to supervise the care delivery by other staff. They may also be supported by NHS and other services.

Nurses working in homes may at times be the only qualified person on a shift, with management responsibilities for staff at all levels within the organisation. They will need leadership qualities, as well as overseeing the general facilities and running of the home.

The population of nursing and care home residents has changed dramatically in recent years, as more people are living into old age with multiple long term health conditions, often complex in nature. Residents may have a number of co-morbidities and have an extensive medication regimen. They may live with physical disabilities and many will be living with dementia.

The QNI has published a learning resource for nurses new to working in a residential home: https://www.qni.org.uk/resources/transition-care-home-nursing/

To read more about the role from the perspective of one nurse visit: https://www.carehome.co.uk/news/article.cfm/id/1567712/nurse-reveals-work-care-home-nhs

 

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