Nurse Advisors work with NHS staff, in primary and secondary care, to give clinical advice about the best use of their company’s products. These could include medicines, dressings, compression bandages, pressure relieving mattresses, blood glucose monitors, inhalers, continence pads, catheters, enteral nutrition and stoma care products. They can be known as Nurse Advisors or Clinical Educators.
Roles vary from company to company and can include:
- Providing education and support to HCPs on disease management and the correct use of pharmaceuticals or healthcare products
- Providing specialist expertise in specific disease areas to HCPs
- Helping HCPs audit disease areas such as asthma or COPD and either running patient clinics to improve patient management in line with national guidance. Or training HCPs to run patient management processes themselves
- Administering medications or therapies to patients in their own home, and supporting patients, carers and families.
- Training patients and carers so that they can manage their own therapies at homes
- Providing clinical support to Trusts or CCGs when a company has won a contract or tender as part of a Service Level Agreement.
- Undertaking clinical audit
- Providing a specialist nurse service funded by a specific company for example Stoma Nurse or MS Nurse
Nurse Advisors must always strictly adhere to the NMC Code of Professional Conduct
Most companies will expect Nurse Advisors to be UK Registered Nurses with at least two years’ post graduate clinical experience. Plus experience in the related disease area.
In some roles post graduate qualifications in specific disease areas will be required, and/or mentorship or training qualifications.
Nurse Advisors will need to be clear communicators with the ability to deliver training presentations and plan their own workload. They will also need to work independently as well as being part of a team. In most roles you will be expected to use computers and databases so IT skills are required.
Companies will all provide training on their products and you will often be assessed as competent in the role responsibilities as part of your training.
You will also need a full UK driving licence with no more than 6 points on your licence.
Working As A Nurse Advisor
Nurse Advisors are employed either directly by the pharmaceutical or healthcare company, or by a Contract Service Organisation (CSO). CSOs (such as Xcellin) manage and employ staff, acting as an intermediary between the nurse and the pharmaceutical company.
Hours tend to be Monday, to Friday, excluding Bank Holidays. In some roles there may be occasional on-call work or you may be required to run some training sessions for twilight or night duty HCPs. And when you are training carers or families members you may need to do visits after their working day.
Where you are based in the field you will cover a geographical territory and a company car or car allowance will be provided. Other benefits provided by the company could include some or all of the following:
- Contributory pension scheme
- Private healthcare
- Paid annual leave
- Daily lunch allowance
- RCN & NMC fees paid
- Storage allowance for when you need to keep stock at home
- Performance related bonus schemes
- Life assurance
- Computers and mobile phones
Most employers offer excellent training & development opportunities. As Nurse Advisors tend to specialise in one therapy area becoming a Nurse Advisor ensures exceptional training in that arena.
Researching The Role
Nurse Advisor roles are a popular choice for RNs looking to specialise in a therapy area. In order to research the role you should speak to someone who is a Nurse Advisor. Speaking to Medical Representatives can also help you understand more about working in a field based role. Companies you apply to will ask you why you want to be a Nurse Advisor and what you can offer to them, so it’s important to gain an understanding of the role and what impact Nurse Advisors have on the companies they work for.
If you would like to register your interest or discuss the role of a Nurse Advisor in more depth you can send your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org