dreier a., rogalski h., oppermann r.f., terschüren c., van den berg n. & hoffmann w. (2010) A curriculum for nurses in Germany undertaking medically-delegated tasks in primary care. Journal of Advanced Nursing66(3), 635–644.
Aim. This paper is a report of a study conducted to develop a qualification for nurses in primary care based on the delegation of medical tasks in order to relieve general practitioners and to supply the population in rural regions today and in the future.
Background. Age-demographic changes will cause medical care supply problems, especially for older people, motivating a re-evaluation of the nursing role in ambulatory medical care.
Methods. An intervention study was conducted in Germany between 1 January 2006 and 31 December 2007, comprising a theoretical and practical phase evaluated by participants, general practitioners and patients through questionnaires, reflection rounds and structured interviews during and after the practice phase.
Findings. Participants and general practitioners rated the curriculum as relevant and useful. Nurses were motivated by the ability to be self-employed and the expansion of their scope of professional work general practitioners regarded medical duty delegation as workload relief. Patients positively evaluated nurse visits, comparing medical competence and conduct to that of a general practitioner’s.
Conclusion. The qualification is a promising approach to compensate for the imminent undersupply of primary care and allows maintenance a high standard of healthcare quality for rural areas of Germany and countries with similar structures. It supports doctors through task delegation, and offers an option for an advanced training for nurses.