Bupa nurse survey finds desire for working with older people

Helen Baxendale – Lead Nurse for Bupa Care Homes

A survey by Bupa in partnership with the Royal College of Nursing has uncovered the reasons why people choose a career in older people’s nursing.

The Care to Care survey was run to support nurses and address the common misconceptions of care home nursing.

Helen Baxendale, Lead Nurse for Bupa Care Homes, said: “I never considered a career working with older people but got into it by chance after finishing my nursing training. That was 28 years ago and I haven’t looked back! It’s allowed me to build up meaningful relationships with residents and their families, as well as being able to put my clinical and leadership skills to good use in a variety of challenging ways.”

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The survey found that 82% of older people’s nurses felt their career gave them the opportunity to work with complex health issues. Three-quarters of respondents said they enjoyed the broad range of nursing and skills they could practice and ability to advance their clinical skills.

More than 80% of those consulted had chosen the profession for the opportunity to provide continuity of care. Nine out of ten (88%) agreed they had sufficient training to carry out areas of relevant clinical practice, with 92% saying they were confident in doing so.

The survey also revealed misconceptions about care home nursing within the wider nursing community. Eight out of ten (79%) of respondents based in care homes said older peoples’ care nurses developed a broad skills set. When the question was asked to nurses outside social care, only 48% agreed.

Joan Elliott, Managing Director for Bupa Care Homes, said: “It’s great to see nurses acknowledge the variety of clinical and personal skills involved in working with older people, and it’s vital that we dispel the misconception that these roles are less clinical or slower-paced. As the research shows, older people’s care nursing can be a hugely rewarding career, and I hope this encourages more people to consider it.”

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The author Lee Peart

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