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New study determines skills and strength needed to become nurse or health visitor

09 June 2016


The resilience and emotional strength needed to succeed as a nurse or health visitor is the subject of a new study.

Janet Gargiulo, Programme Leader for the Postgraduate Diploma, Graduate Diploma and BSc (Hons) Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (SCPHN) at Wrexham Glyndŵr University, wants students and those already working in the sector to take part in the survey to explore how their emotional wellbeing impacts on the role.

There are more than 18,000 health visitors working in the UK (HCHS 2013) and there is demand for more to enter this arena.

The Department of Health has placed consideration on the mental attributes of prospective employees, highlighting the need for them to be both resilient and emotionally intelligent to aid their ability to cope in a crisis and being important in helping them to succeed in the industry.

However, many are unsure how to demonstrate whether practitioners do possess these attributes, and how these attributes are measured, which is why this survey tackles the issues.

“Public health nurses have to be able to cope with so many difficult situations that cause stress and strains on them, but it’s difficult to know how much stress they are experiencing or the strain they are under,” said Janet.

“They will be dealing with the reality of everyday life promoting health and wellbeing but in so doing dealing with issues of abuse child abuse, domestic violence, obesity and many other issues, and of course the world is a more stressful place these days so it’s important any health visitors or students wanting to get into the sector complete this study and give their feedback”.

“My hope is that it will help improve work performance and also have a positive effect on their wellbeing, which is ultimately the most important aspect of this study to aid them to give their best to their patients.”

SCPHN/HVs in Wales are still funded by the Welsh Government to work in the NHS while their counterparts across the border are now seen as part of the Local Authority workforce rather than the health service.

Janet was a health visitor for seven years before joining Wrexham Glyndŵr in 2001 and says the role of public health nurses is often overlooked due to the preventative nature of the job, unlike staff working in the acute sector treating patients in hospitals.

“Health visiting and school nursing plays a key role in the evolving public health environment working with children, families and populations in order to increase their health status,” she said.

“They play a huge part in trying to uphold the health of the nation, which is becoming a more and more difficult challenge, which is why it’s important those operating in the sector – and those wanting to join it – take part in the survey.”

To anonymously take part in the survey, go to

For more on health courses at Wrexham Glyndŵr University, visit