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NMC set to overhaul public health and community nursing standards

NMC’s co-produced changes will update, modernise and streamline post-registration standards to reflect vision for public health and community nursing services

NMC’s co-produced changes will update, modernise and streamline post-registration standards to reflect vision for public health and community nursing services

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is set to approve an overhaul of post-registration standards at its council meeting later this week.

New proficiency standards for community and public health nursing

The council is being asked to approve new standards of proficiency for future specialist community public health nurses (SCPHNs), community nursing specialist practice qualifications (SPQs) and associated programme standards at its 26 May meeting .

The overhaul of the standards is the first in more

NMC’s co-produced changes will update, modernise and streamline post-registration standards to reflect vision for public health and community nursing services

Picture of a nurse palpating a child's abdomen in a community centre
Picture: Neil O’Connor

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is set to approve an overhaul of post-registration standards at its council meeting later this week.

New proficiency standards for community and public health nursing

The council is being asked to approve new standards of proficiency for future specialist community public health nurses (SCPHNs), community nursing specialist practice qualifications (SPQs) and associated programme standards at its 26 May meeting.

The overhaul of the standards is the first in more than a decade. The NMC has said the aim is to update, modernise and streamline the standards to better reflect its vision for public health and community nursing services.

NMC executive director of professional practice Geraldine Walters said: ‘These new co-produced post-registration standards will give professionals the additional knowledge, skills and aptitude they need to provide specialist support and care to people in their homes and in the community.

‘These standards will also help professionals to develop their careers and become the clinical leaders, educators and researchers of the future.’

Under plans announced in November 2020, five of nine SPQs – for community children’s nursing, community learning disability nursing, community mental health nursing, general practice nursing and district nursing – were set to be replaced by a single, common standard.

Later the NMC added a sixth standard to ‘accommodate other existing community nursing roles for which there is no SPQ’ as well as any new community roles which may emerge in future, according to a report on the consultation.

Standards gain approval in consultation with nurses and stakeholders

A recent consultation on the proposals found a majority of the 2,363 nurses and stakeholders surveyed said they agreed the new standards were ‘fit for purpose’.

At least 67% agreed with most of the proposed post-registration programme standards for SCPHNs and SPQs, while more than 72% of respondents said they supported proposed standards across the five fields of SPQs.

At the same meeting, held in Derry/Londonderry in Northern Ireland, the council will also consider approving a consultation on changes to its pre-registration education programme standards, which will ensure nursing and midwifery programmes adequately support students to become registered professionals.

The changes include greater flexibility around simulated learning for nurses. In November 2021, the NMC voted to double the number of simulated hours nursing students can accumulate to meet their clinical practice requirements.


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