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The Development of the Older Person's Nurse Fellowship: Education concept to delivery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
JournalNurse Education Today
Early online date5 May 2016
Accepted/In press27 Apr 2016
E-pub ahead of print5 May 2016


  • 1-s2.0-S0260691716300478-main

    1_s2.0_S0260691716300478_main.pdf, 439 KB, application/pdf

    Uploaded date:06 May 2016

    Version:Accepted author manuscript

    Licence:CC BY-NC-ND

King's Authors


Background Preparing the nursing workforce to meet the challenges of an ageing population is a priority for many countries. The development of an Older Person's Nurse Fellowship (OPNF) programme for senior clinical nurses is an important innovation. Objectives This article describes the philosophical development, delivery and early evaluation of the OPNF. Design In 2014, Health Education England funded 24 senior clinical nurses to participate in the OPNF. The Fellowship was designed to build clinical leadership and innovation capability and develop a network of nurses to influence local and national strategy for older people's care. The Fellows selected were drawn from mental health (n = 4), community/primary care (n = 9) and acute care (n = 11). The twelve month programme consisted of two Masters-level modules, delivered through study days and e-learning. The first cohort (n = 12) commenced the course in November 2014 with a module designed to enhance clinical knowledge and skills. Methods Evaluation data were collected from the first cohort using anonymous surveys (n = 11) and focus group interviews (n = 9). Descriptive statistics are presented for the quantitative data and common themes are described in the qualitative data. Results The overall satisfaction with the clinical module was high with a median score of 18/20 (range 17–20). Topics such as comprehensive geriatric assessment, frailty, pharmacology and cognitive assessment were regarded as highly relevant and most likely to result in a change to clinical practice. In the focus group interviews students discussed their learning experience in terms of: module specificity, peer-to-peer learning and using the OPNF as leverage for change. Conclusions The OPNF is a timely innovation and a positive commitment to developing an academic pathway for senior nurses. It marks an important step in the future development of the older person's nursing workforce.

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