We have come a long way in the last ten years towards meeting the educational needs of nurses specialising in adult endocrinology. Endocrine nurses are now able to access annual training courses (renamed updates in 2010) and attend specific nurse-led sessions at scientific meetings thanks to the ongoing work undertaken by the Society for Endocrinologys nurse committee. It is therefore time to turn our attention to how we can encourage nurses to want to specialise in endocrinology and to start to prepare them for such a role before rather than after they find themselves working in this field. One way to do this is to ignite their interest in endocrinology while they are still students. With this aim in mind the first undergraduate course in adult endocrine nursing was developed and introduced as part of the Bachelor of Nursing (Hons) programme at Edinburgh University in September 2011. The course, which runs over ten weeks, is available as an Honours option (Level 10) to students in their third and fourth year and is delivered as a series of lectures and tutorials. The content covers specific endocrine conditions and alongside these it critically explores issues such as compliance with prescribed treatment, quality of life, patient support and patient self-management, the role of the specialist nurse and nurse-led clinics. It is taught primarily by an endocrine nurse/lecturer with some specific input from visiting speakers. In addition to the formal taught aspects students are encouraged to attend endocrine out-patient clinics and local patient support group meetings as well as national patient conferences and have the option to observe pituitary surgery being performed. Fifteen students enrolled and completed the course. Course evaluation has been extremely positive. Of the seven final year students, two are now proactively seeking endocrine nursing positions to apply for on graduation.
Declaration of interest: There is no conflict of interest that could be perceived as prejudicing the impartiality of the research reported.
Funding: No specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sector.