Aim To explore the emerging role of nurse consultant in an English primary care setting.
Background Nurse consultants have been introduced in England since 1999 as senior, non-managerial nurse leaders. They have generally found it that it takes time to negotiate manageable work-loads.
Design Four qualitative case studies
Methods Semi-structured interviews with stakeholders within the organization. Data were analysed thematically.
Findings All four nurse consultants might potentially work with a very large number of disciplines, departments and other organizations. As a result, it took time to identify priorities and to make relationships. Thus, although nurse consultants are well-placed to work across boundaries, two had made relatively little progress in doing so.
Conclusion Nurse consultants working in primary and community health care settings are well-placed to be boundary-spanners, delivering change across organizations. Negotiating priorities and relationships are time-consuming tasks, and nurse consultants may have to work with a restricted number of partners initially.