District nurse

District nurse

District Nurses are senior nurses who manage care within the community, leading teams of community nurses and support workers.[1] Typically much of their work involves visiting house-bound patients to provide advice and care, for example, palliative care, wound management, catheter and continence care, medication support. They may be trained to assess patient's needs for equipment provision such as mobility and independent living aids, medical equipment such as specialist beds and mattresses, as well as guidance in applying for grants and welfare benefits. Their work involves both follow-up care for recently discharged hospital inpatients and longer term care for chronically ill patients who may be referred by many other services, as well as working collaboratively with general practitioners in preventing unnecessary or avoidable hospital admissions.


Scope of practice

District nurses provide nursing care that allows people to remain in their own homes, maintain their independence, or have additional support after discharge from hospital. A district nurse will manage a team of nurses that may provide wound care, train carers to administer eye drops if individuals can not do it themselves, support catheter care, and administer complex medication within a patient's home as well as immunisations. As well as treatment, a district nurse can offer advice and support with health concerns.

In England and Wales, they are employed by Primary Care Trusts on behalf of the NHS, whereas in Scotland, they are employed by the health board and may be based at centralised health centres or general practices. District Nurses, like all qualified nurses, are regulated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

District nurses can also be known as community nurses.


In the UK, training as a district nurse requires registration as a nurse in the adult branch, with at least two years post-qualifying experience of professional practice: a (shortened) degree or postgraduate diploma course is then undertaken, either one year full-time or two years part-time.


District nurses in Melbourne, 1904.

District Nursing in England will be 150 years old in 2009. In 1858 Liverpool philanthropist William Rathbone employed a nurse, Mary Robinson, to take care of his wife at home during her final illness.[2] After his wife’s death in 1859, he engaged Mary to go into one of the poorest districts of the City to bring healthcare to people who had no means to pay for it. He spent the rest of his life working to build up the service, with assistance from Florence Nightingale and others. District nursing on the Liverpool model soon sprang up in other towns, cities and rural areas, funded by local philanthropists.

In 1887 Queen Victoria’s Jubilee Institute for Nurses was founded, centralising training for district nurses (or Queen’s Nurses as they became known) until nursing education became nationalised in 1968. The charity, which became The Queen’s Nursing Institute, continues to support community nurses to this day. The Institute always needed to raise funds and until the creation of the NHS in 1948, district nurses collected contributions from their patients.


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • district nurse — noun A nurse appointed to attend to patients in their own homes • • • Main Entry: ↑district * * * district nurse UK US noun [countable] [singular district nurse plural …   Useful english dictionary

  • district nurse — district nurses N COUNT In Britain, a district nurse is a nurse who goes to people s houses to give them medical treatment and advice …   English dictionary

  • district nurse — ► NOUN ▪ (in the UK) a nurse who treats patients in their homes, operating within a particular district …   English terms dictionary

  • district nurse — n BrE a nurse who visits people in their own homes …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • district nurse — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms district nurse : singular district nurse plural district nurses a nurse in the UK whose job is to give people medical treatment in their own homes …   English dictionary

  • district nurse — dis·trict nurse .dis trikt n Brit a qualified nurse who is employed by a local authority to visit and treat patients in their own homes compare VISITING NURSE * * * a trained nurse with special training in domiciliary services, usually employed… …   Medical dictionary

  • district nurse — noun (in the UK) a nurse who visits and treats patients in their homes, operating within a particular district …   English new terms dictionary

  • district nurse — a trained nurse with special training in domiciliary services, usually employed by a primary care trust or health board. District nurses may also be allocated to a designated general practice, an arrangement known as attachment …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • district nurse — noun a nurse providing health care to patients within their own homes …   Wiktionary

  • district nurse — noun (C) a nurse who visits and treats people in their own homes in Britain …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English