New route for nurses to join frontline at EEAST

Tuesday, 08 August, 2023

David Young, one of the first pre-hospital nurse practitioners working at EEAST

A new pathway for nurses to transfer their skills to frontline pre-hospital care is open at the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST).

Introduced in November 2022, the new initiative has received excellent feedback from the nurses who have already made the move to pre-hospital practice at EEAST.

The pre-hospital nurse practitioners, who must have a professional registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), work on the frontline alongside paramedics and other pre-hospital clinicians.

After an induction and training programme over up to 30 weeks, the pre-hospital practitioners work to a similar scope of practice to a paramedic.

David Young, who qualified as a nurse in 2001, was part of the first group of 14 nurses to go through the programme to become a pre-hospital nurse practitioner and is loving his new role on a frontline ambulance.

Before starting at EEAST, David was a clinical nurse specialist in international emergency assistance and repatriations.

David said:

"Traditionally this type of role was never open to nurses and I had considered undertaking further study to become a paramedic during my 22 years as a nurse, but I never found the right time in my career to make the switch before this programme.

"This role allows me to apply my previous nursing experience, but also to learn some challenging new skills such as emergency trauma care, advanced life support for all age ranges and emergency obstetric care.

"As a nurse on a frontline ambulance, every day and every patient is different; one minute, we can be responding to a 999 call to a woman in labour to deliver a baby, then the next a road traffic collision, cardiac arrest, or transferring a patient between hospitals and anything in between. You never know what you will be asked to do next, which is fantastic.

"I love this job. I look forward to putting on my green uniform, getting to the station, getting in the ambulance, and waiting for control to allocate us a job. It's amazing!"

Melissa Dowdeswell, Director of Nursing and Interim Chief Operation Officer at EEAST, said:

"This new programme allows nurses to transfer their extensive knowledge, experience and skills to working in a pre-hospital setting working alongside paramedics and other frontline clinicians. 

"The feedback from nurses on the programme and the support provided has been excellent which is why we are looking to expand the programme to further bolster our workforce.

"The specialist skills that pre-hospital practitioners bring to EEAST will help enhance the service we provide to our communities." 

If you want a job that gives you the opportunity to make a difference, start your #CareerForLife with EEAST today. You can find out more about careers and volunteering opportunities at

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