NMC outlines proposals to modernise nursing standards

April 9, 2021

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) launched a consultation on new draft education standards this week, that build on ambitions for community and public health nursing in the UK.

The standards, for specialist community public health nursing (SCPHN) and specialist practice qualifications (SPQs), will equip the next generation of community and public health nurses working in health and social care with the right proficiencies to care for people in a rapidly changing world.

Community and public health nurses have successfully adapted to huge challenges during the pandemic, providing vital high-quality care and support to our communities during a time of great need.

These essential education standards were last updated over 15 years ago. NMC say that we need ‘fit for purpose standards that reflect the realities of modern nursing in health and social care now’. The draft standards are designed to support the innovation in practice that is already happening across the four countries of the UK. They are also flexible enough to take account of future ambitions for care which will develop as our communities evolve and grow.

The standards set out the knowledge and skills needed to gain post-registration qualifications. They also cover what we expect from education institutions and practice learning partners delivering the education and training. This will allow the development of new and innovative courses, helping improve learning and increase access.

The NMC has worked in collaboration with people receiving care, nurses, educators, students and employers to co-create the draft standards using the best available evidence. We are grateful for their expert input and support for this consultation.

This work has been overseen by Dr David Foster OBE and an independent steering group. The group includes a wide range of organisations and individuals with an interest in shaping the proposals for this work.

Over the course of the next 16 weeks, there will be a range of ways for people to get involved and share their views on the proposals. The NMC will be hosting virtual drop-in sessions to facilitate conversations alongside webinars and virtual panel events. Visit the NMC website to find out how to get involved.

Professor Geraldine Walters CBE, Executive Director of Professional Practice for the NMC, said, ‘Due to the challenges and pressures of the pandemic over the past 12 months, we’re extending the consultation period to four months and are ensuring there are a range of accessible opportunities so that as many people as possible can contribute in a variety of ways. This is the time for you to tell us what you think and to help shape the proposals by letting us know what needs to be added, taken away, or changed.

‘We’re grateful to everyone who has shared their views so far, and we want to hear from even more people during the consultation. This will help us support the community and public health nurses of the future along with the millions who will need their care.’

Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England, said, ‘This consultation has significant implications for nursing and midwifery colleagues right across health and social care. Please read and respond to ensure you have a voice in shaping post-registration standards for the future of our professions.’

The ‘Standards of Education and Practice for Nurses New to Care Home Nursing’ were launched at a meeting of the QNI’s Care Home Nurses’ Network on 29th January 2021.

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