The Future Nurse Standards: Implementation and Delivery

This week’s EBN Twitter Chat will focus on the new Nursing and Midwifery Council’s (NMC) standards of proficiency and education for registered nurses, which will have their parliamentary launch on Thursday 17 May. We are tweeting directly from the Council of Deans of Health (CoDH) summit (#Council2018) at a slightly different time to normal – 6 pm on Wednesday 16 May. I will be leading the chat alongside Katerina Kolyva (@katerinakolyva) and Josh Niderost (@councilofdeans) from the CoDH. We also have Jackie Smith (@Jackie-Smith_nmc) from the NMC contributing. To join in the chat please add #ebnjc to your tweets.

The new standards make significant changes to proficiencies for registered nurses, standards for pre-registration programmes, and student supervision and assessment. They also introduce a new education framework and standards for prescribing programmes. These reforms are designed to enable nurses to meet the changing health needs of patients, provide them with more clinical autonomy where appropriate, and prepare them for leadership roles in service. The intention is for these standards to be fit for purpose until 2030. During this chat we will be considering some of the changes and exploring what this might mean in for educators and students in practice.

Key issues that participants may wish to consider include:

Standards of proficiency:

The implementation of new standards of proficiency will lead to modifications across curricula. The standards are based on the following requirements to: be an accountable professional, promote good health; assess needs and plan care; provide and evaluate care; lead and manage care and work in teams; improve safety and care quality; and coordinate care. The development of leadership and management skills is crucial to this. Universities will need to think about how leadership can be modelled in academia and practice placements, including political awareness.

Pre-registration nursing programmes:

Pre-registration programmes will need to ensure that students develop in-depth expertise in their chosen field of practice, but also have exposure to all four fields of nursing. There is more flexibility for simulated learning. However, adult nursing courses will still need to comply directly with the EU Directive and its requirements. New standards for pre-registration education allow us to consider how innovative modes of learning can be incorporated into nursing education to develop the future workforce.

Learning and assessment model:

Mentorship will be replaced by a new tripartite system of practice supervisors, practice assessors and academic assessors. This transformative change will provide new opportunities for academia and practice to improve student experience, distinguish learning support from formal assessment and add to the objectivity of this process.

During the Twitter Chat we will be exploring the implications of these changes and asking the following questions:

  1. How will changes to the standards of proficiency empower students and impact curricula design?
  2. How can effective leadership be modelled in nursing education? How can this include requirements to develop political awareness?
  3. What forms of innovative teaching and learning, including simulation, will be best to deliver the new standards?
  4. How will the new learning and assessment model be implemented effectively and what benefits will this bring to students?

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