To date, quality indicators that have been developed for nursing tend to focus on acute, secondary care settings. It remains unclear whether such quality indicators are applicable to community settings, particularly in rural environments. This research aims to identify the consensus view among specialist nurses regarding their unique nursing contribution within their rural community. Identifying agreed aspects of the unique role within the rural community area will enable quality care metrics to be developed, allowing specialist nurses to measure their unique contribution to rural health care in the future. The research used the Delphi technique to identify a consensus view among a population of specialist community nurses working in a designated rural area in Wales. The strongest area of consensus related to clinical and teaching expertise, where participants perceive educational expertise as being at the forefront of their role. In terms of care for individuals, consensus was focused on four main areas: developing appropriate criteria for referral in to the service, collaborative working, education, and advocacy roles. The findings highlight similarities to models of care provision elsewhere. Specific quality indicators are required for clinical nurse specialists working in rural areas. Current quality indicators may not be applicable across all clinical settings. Further work is required to explore the nature of rural nursing practice.
- Nurse Clinicians
- Rural Health Services/organization & administration