‘More interprofessional working needed in nurse education’

Academic tells RCN Wales leadership summit changes to preregistration education are a start, but further measures are needed to deliver holistic, community-based care

Nursing education in future should include more interprofessional working to prepare nurses for new models of care, an academic has said.

The NMC has proposed replacing mentors with ‘practice supervisors’ from any
registered profession, along with assessors who are registered nurses. ​Picture: John Houlihan

Cardiff University’s school of healthcare sciences deputy head, education and students, Judy Cousins said the replacement scheme for mentoring in the new Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) preregistration standards would go some way to addressing this.

The NMC has proposed replacing mentors with practice supervisors (from any registered profession), practice assessors (registered nurses) and academic assessors.

But Ms Cousins said that further measures, especially for postregistration training, are needed if holistic, community-based care is to be realised, as is recommended in the parliamentary review for health and social care in Wales.

Better care

Speaking at the RCN Wales leadership summit last week, she told nurses: ‘We know that research illustrates to us that care delivered by nurses, physicians and other healthcare professions together not only improves quality, but also leads to better patient outcomes, greater patient satisfaction, increased efficiency and increased job satisfaction.

‘That being the case, it would be prudent for interprofessional education to figure prominently in both pre and postregistration programmes.

‘Students continue to be taught and function predominantly independently and are usually learning in silos.’

She said preregistration training with other professionals would broaden students’ understanding of what other members of the healthcare team contribute and the challenges they face. ‘This is expected to translate into better care and improved outcomes,’ she added.

Ms Cousins said that advanced practitioner roles are increasingly important and have not yet been fully used in Wales.

Further changes

During a panel session after her talk, there was discussion among attendees on whether NMC changes to preregistration had gone far enough.

Some suggested the regulator had not kept pace with the changing face of nursing or listened to nurses enough.

One person cited the problems with language tests as an example of where the NMC had held back the profession, by being too slow or reluctant to respond.

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