LloydsPharmacy Clinical Homecare helps to develop the next generation of homecare nurses

LloydsPharmacy Clinical Homecare is one of the first homecare companies to offer a preceptorship programme to newly qualified nurses (NQNs). The 6-month course, which starts in March, will help to support and develop nurses straight from university.

The new preceptorship programme will help NQNs, who are at the start of their career with LloydsPharmacy Clinical Homecare. The programme is designed to support nurses in their transition from studying at university and to further develop their knowledge whilst giving them hands on experience.

Nicola Billington, practice educator at LloydsPharmacy Clinical Homecare said: “I remember how I felt when I first graduated and started my career in nursing. It was a daunting experience and I definitely would have benefited from a more structured induction. That’s why we have developed the programme, using insights and experiences to find out what support new nurses want. These nurses have no experience in homecare nursing so it’s important we give them that extra helping hand and set them up for success.”

The nurses, who are based across the country, will learn about different homecare treatment areas during weekly rotations before being signed off to work on their own. In their first six months they will receive training in home parenteral nutrition (HPN), enzyme replacement therapy (ERT), immunoglobulins, rare diseases and IV antibiotics. In addition to this, they will gain experience in teaching patients how to administer their own injections and develop practical skills in cannulation, venepuncture and central line care. They will also receive in-house training and information on how the medicines they’re administering work.

Each nurse will be assigned a ‘buddy’ and get to work alongside senior homecare nurses, practice educators and clinical trainers. They will be responsible for sharing best practice, providing mentoring and advice, and helping to build the NQNs confidence to work independently.

Daniella Mazurkiewicz, an NQN who has been accepted onto the programme, said: “As a newly qualified nurse, I could not believe that such a wonderful and promising opportunity would be available to me. Not only will I be able to learn about the different types of therapies within the course, but I will also be in a community-based environment where I can properly invest time in patients and create meaningful relationships with them, unlike within the more traditional nursing roles. I cannot wait to be part of the team.

Ashaliah Tshum another of the NQNs said: “Being selected for the preceptorship programme is a very exciting prospect for me. The life of a ward nurse was never appealing as I enjoy the one to one interaction of patient care which is not always possible within a hospital setting. I am eager to learn and grow within a practical and supportive environment which allows me to hone my skills and embark on the next stage of my career.

To qualify for the programme, each nurse had to successfully complete a telephone and face to face interview. They were also tested on practical skills.

Nicola continues: “Nurses are in such high demand and we understand that a lot of NQNs prefer familiarity rather than the unknown area of homecare when it comes to applying for their first job. This new programme gives them the opportunity to really expand their knowledge and skills. We’re also offering a great renumeration package to incentivise NQNs to step out of their comfort zone. Our hope is that these nurses will see how rewarding a career in homecare can be and inspire other NQNS to consider working outside of a hospital environment.

As well as the preceptorship programme, LloydsPharmacy Clinical Homecare is looking at plans to introduce student placements in the future.