Measuring the workload of community nurses in Ireland: a review of workload measurement systems

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BackgroundThe primary community nursing service in Ireland is public health nursing and this unique healthcare role incorporates activities and responsibilities undertaken by a variety of health professionals in other countries. Capturing and comparing a measure of the work of any community nurse is complicated due to the difficulty in standardizing the nature of community nursing across care settings.AimThe aim of this paper was to review the varied approaches to measuring the workload/caseload of community nurses to evaluate how they may be applied to measure the workload of the public health nurse in the Irish Republic.ConclusionMany of the systems designed to measure nursing workload are reliant on measuring tasks and fail to capture the less tangible but core aspects of the public health nursing role like decision-making, assessment and case management.ImplicationsThere is a need to develop a workload measurement system for use by public health nurses in Ireland that is capable of measuring the uniqueness of the role.

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