The Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) has launched a consultation on new draft education standards 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 dur-ing 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. But the NWC says the country needs 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 qualifi-cations. 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 have worked in collaboration with people receiving care, nurses, educators, students and employers to co-create the draft standards using the best available evidence. 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.
Professor Geraldine Walters CBE, Executive Director of Professional Practice for the NMC, said: “Community and public health nursing has never been more important. We want these new standards to reflect the realities of modern community and public health nursing and equip professionals with the right skills for the future.
“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 con-tribute 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.”
Over the course of the next 16 weeks, there will be a range of ways for people to get in-volved and share their views on the proposals.