NMC expected to remove emergency education standards introduced during pandemic

Governing council to decide if standards should be removed and a possible timetable

Governing council to decide if standards should be removed and a possible timetable later this month

Nursing and Midwifery Council expected to phase out emergency education measures introduced during pandemic
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The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is looking to phase out most of the emergency and recovery education standards brought in during the COVID-19 pandemic.

These standards included measures for nursing students and education institutions to offer support during the pandemic, including extended clinical placements and increases in online learning.

Now is appropriate time to consider phasing out standards

The NMC’s governing council will decide if these standards should be removed and a possible timetable for doing so at a meeting on 19 May.

The agenda for the meeting says that with a reduction in the impact of COVID-19 on the workforce now is an appropriate time to remove the option for extended clinical placements.

Changes to standards on 30 September will allow education institutions enough notice to adapt for the next academic year.

Additionally, the NMC will consider the continuation of a standard allowing education institutions to replace up to 300 hours of practice learning with simulated learning, for six months.

Standards which could be phased out

  • Allowing final year undergraduate nursing students in England to take 100% of their course as extended clinical placements.
    Proposed removal date: 19 May
  • Allowing first year nursing students to spend all their studies in theory and academic learning.
    Proposed removal date: 30 September
  • Allowing the same individual to be a student’s supervisor and practice assessor.
    Proposed removal date: 30 September
  • Requiring education institutions to follow public health guidance when allocating students on placement and moving face-to-face teaching online to comply with social distancing.
    Proposed removal date: When the government declares the pandemic emergency over

Changes for nursing students brought in due to COVID-19

Emergency standards for students were brought in during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and then reintroduced in England in early 2021 as the country grappled with the second wave.

A set of recovery standards designed to normalise nursing education were introduced in September 2020 and then expanded to include simulated learning in February 2021.

Before the pandemic nursing students were required to complete a set number of hours in clinical practice and academic study.

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