Nursing is a profession within the health care sector focused on the care of individuals, families, and communities so they may attain, maintain, or recover optimal health and quality of life. Nurses may be differentiated from other health care providers by their approach to patient care, training, and scope of practice. Nurses practice in many specialties with differing levels of prescription authority. Nurses comprise the largest component of most healthcare environments; but there is evidence of international shortages of qualified nurses. Many nurses provide care within the ordering scope of physicians, and this traditional role has shaped the public image of nurses as care providers. Nurse practitioners are however permitted by most jurisdictions to practice independently in a variety of settings. Since the postwar period, nurse education has undergone a process of diversification towards advanced and specialized credentials, and many of the traditional regulations and provider roles are changing.
Nurses develop a plan of care, working collaboratively with physicians, therapists, the patient, the patient's family, and other team members that focuses on treating illness to improve quality of life. In the United Kingdom and the United States, advanced practice nurses, such as clinical nurse specialists and nurse practitioners, diagnose health problems and prescribe medications and other therapies, depending on individual state regulations. Nurses may help coordinate the patient care performed by other members of a multidisciplinary health care team such as therapists, medical practitioners, and dietitians. Nurses provide care both interdependently, for example, with physicians, and independently as nursing professionals.
Cambridgeshire (abbreviated Cambs.)[note 1] is a county in the East of England, bordering Lincolnshire to the north, Norfolk to the north-east, Suffolk to the east, Essex and Hertfordshire to the south, and Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire to the west. The city of Cambridge is the county town. Modern Cambridgeshire was formed in 1974 through the amalgamation of two older counties: Cambridgeshire and Isle of Ely, comprising the historic county of Cambridgeshire (including the Isle of Ely); and Huntingdon and Peterborough, comprising the historic county of Huntingdonshire and the Soke of Peterborough, which historically had been part of Northamptonshire. Cambridgeshire contains most of the region known as Silicon Fen.
The county is now divided between Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council, which since 1998 has formed a separate unitary authority. In the county there are five district councils, Cambridge City Council, East Cambridgeshire District Council, Fenland District Council, Huntingdonshire District Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council.