The Historical Experience of Second Level Nurses and Implications for the Future Workforce: A Qualitative Study: Enrolled Nurse Interviews

Emma Shiel, Steve Hemingway

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Second level Nursing roles are common internationally, although ended in the UK in the 1990’s. Generally, little experiential research on Enrolled Nurse’s exists, particularly within mental health and learning disability contexts. Research on Enrolled Nurses has become interesting due to role similarities with the recently introduced Nursing Associate, demonstrating value in learning from the past.
This study aimed to explore the historical experiences of former Enrolled Nurses, considering implications for future Nursing roles.
Semi structured interviews with nine former Enrolled Nurses were thematically analysed, where four themes emerged:
• The Numbers
• Just an Enrolled Nurse
• A Stepping Stone
• Considerations for the Nursing Associate.
The findings provide insights into the experiences of Enrolled Nurses, highlighting issues relating to role confusion, bullying, and exploitation. To successfully develop new workforce roles, services need to ensure role clarity, which recognise of each role’s contribution and support further career development.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMental Health Practice
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 28 May 2024

Cite this