Hospital celebrates 10 years of medical nurse practitioners

The Royal United Hospital in Bath blazed a trail for the nursing profession a decade ago when it introduced MNPs into its workforce – one of the first hospitals in the country to do so. 

“You could say that we are the ‘glue’ between doctors and the nursing team”

Samantha Jones

Since then the number of MNPs employed at the hospital has increased from seven to 40 and they are now in post across every speciality in medicine, working alongside consultants, junior doctors and other nurses. 

An MNP is an experienced registered nurse who undergoes further training to be able to manage the complete clinical care pathway for patients including assessing, diagnosing and treating complex problems.

Samantha Jones, one of the hospital’s first MNPs and who works in cardiology, said MNPs were often the “glue” that held doctors and nurses together.

In her department, the MNPs also run the rota for the junior doctors and support them as they work on a four-month rotation.

“As I work alongside consultants and junior doctors, I find that we bring a different perspective to making decisions whilst caring for our patients,” she said. “You could say that we are the ‘glue’ between doctors and the nursing team.”

She explained that before she became an MNP she was a junior sister looking to develop her skills and progress her career.

“When I heard about the MNP role, it sounded like the perfect position for me – it was an opportunity to take a step up but also stay clinical and develop a different set of skills,” she said.

“Since being in my role, I’ve gained a wealth of knowledge and skills and my role has grown to working across all areas of cardiology.”

She added: “My mantra is ‘can I do that?’ and I’ve found myself saying ‘yes’ in this role – I’ve pushed the boundaries and am proud of what I’ve achieved over the past 10 years.”

“It’s been amazing what we have achieved as MNPs”

Philippa Nash

Philippa Nash, another of the original MNPs appointed 10 years ago, explained how the role of the MNP had developed at the hospital, run by the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust.

“It’s been amazing what we have achieved as MNPs,” she said. “We have been very proactive in growing the role and are well-established within the nursing teams.

“We have developed our skills, become highly experienced and have taken on new responsibilities. For example, we write new protocols and develop the way we work.”

Ms Nash said becoming an MNP was ideal for nurses wanting to stay working on a ward but at a “much higher” clinical level.

“You’re constantly learning, you’re clinically valued and you feel part of both the nursing and medical teams, which is great,” she said.

Mandy Rumble, head of nursing medicine at the trust, said: “It has been fantastic to see the development of these staff and their roles within the medical division. They have become an integral part of the clinical team.”