Vall d'Hebron is committed to Advanced Practice Nurses to improve patient and family care
On International Nurses' Day we value the figure of the specialised nursing professional, with the ability to make complex decisions and training to teach, conduct research and improve patient safety.
Health care professionals with a specialised approach, with the capacity and knowledge to make complex decisions and a wide-ranging experience. This is the figure of the Advanced Practice Nurse, one of Vall d'Hebron's commitments as part of its 2021-2025 strategic plan. “The Advanced Practice Nurse has a great impact on health outcomes and on the quality of life and experience of patients and their families.”, highlights Montserrat Martínez, assistant to the Nursing Department. These healthcare professionals, who hold a university specialisation at master's degree level and to whom Vall d'Hebron also offers a training path focused on their professional development, use their advanced knowledge, experience and research to have a direct influence on patients and other professionals. They also have an impact on the new organisation of the hospital in Areas of Knowledge, which promotes an interdisciplinary approach and teamwork among healthcare professionals from different specialities and levels of care.
The Vall d'Hebron Nursing Department has identified 48 job vacancies that could be suitable for this professional profile and has assessed more than one hundred Advanced Practice Nurses who work there. Among the Advanced Practice Nurses at Vall d'Hebron there are diabetic educators, nurses dedicated to community care, stomatherapists specialised in the management of ostomy patients, oncohaematology nurses and palliative care nurses, to give some examples.
This expert nurse profile offers direct care to patients and their families, provides continuity and monitoring of the care process, measures patient impact indicators, provides a broad and varied clinical practice and generates knowledge in care. In other words, their work is not limited to patient care, it also involves teaching and research and brings innovation to the health institution where they work.
Advanced practice nurses are able to head up research projects, says Esperanza Zuriguel, coordinator of research and innovation in nursing at Vall d'Hebron University Hospital and head of the Multidisciplinary Research Group in Nursing at the Vall d'Hebron Research Institute (VHIR): “the ultimate objective is the transferability of the knowledge they generate to clinical practice”. Among the research projects carried out by Advanced Practice Nurses at Vall d'Hebron are the evaluation of the expert patient programme to improve the empowerment and quality of life of people with multiple sclerosis, headed by the Vall d'Hebron Neurosciences Area nurse Miguel Ángel Robles. Nurse Hakima Ouaarab, from the Drassanes-Vall d'Hebron Centre for International Health and Transmissible Diseases, is carrying out a project aimed at promoting affective and sexual health from an intercultural perspective, and Rosa Casado, referral nurse in the Vall d'Hebron Vascular Surgery outpatient clinic, is assessing the effectiveness of an intervention programme in the outpatient clinic for patients suffering from venous sclerosis. Nurse Laia Ventura, referral nurse at the Children's Hospital outpatient clinic, is conducting a study on family presence in invasive projects in paediatrics and Nadia Puertas, referral nurse at the Vall d'Hebron Neurosciences Knowledge Unit, has assessed the effectiveness of an educational intervention through audiovisual capsules in patients with epilepsy.
All these projects have been submitted to open calls for proposals and have obtained funding for their realisation. Both the subject of the study and the conclusions derived from it are based on clinical practice and have an impact on health outcomes.
The Advanced Practice Nurses are also active in the field of patient safety, in order to prevent and reduce the risks, errors and harm that can occur during the provision of health care, and they also have a significant presence in the field of education.
We would also like to make special mention of the tutors of the resident nurses, who may have the professional profile of an Advanced Practice Nurse, although this is not an essential requirement, and who are responsible for the planning, supervision and assessment of the resident nurses during their training as specialist nurses.
International Nurses Day
Today, 12 May, International Nurses' Day is celebrated around the world in commemoration of the birth of Florence Nightingale (b. Florence, 1820 - d. London, 1910), considered the mother of modern nursing in asserting the importance of care. The figure of the Advanced Practice Nurse keeps alive the spirit of Florence Nightingale, who during her work detected the determining variables in the survival of patients and stressed the importance of nursing care and the health care environment in their recovery.
Of the more than 8,500 professionals working at Vall d'Hebron, 2,800 are nurses, the vast majority of them women (83%).