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RCN ends LARC accreditation after faculty opens door to nurses

The Royal College of Nursing is to cease providing accredited qualifications for long-acting reversible contraception (LARC).

It follows a move by the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare to open its membership to nurses last month, reflecting the key role the profession plays in delivering services in these areas.

The decision made in November last year meant that since January the faculty has become one of very few medical colleges and faculties to include nurse members.

At the time, the faculty said it would develop a new nationally recognised diploma for nurses working in sexual health. This prompted the RCN to review its own LARC accreditation processes, the outcome of which it has now made public.

In a statement, the college said the RCN would no longer be accrediting individual nurses to work in the field of LARC and those currently holding RCN accreditations would be offered the option of joining the faculty and being given a FSRH “letter of competence”.

Dr Chris Wilkinson, president of the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare, said: “The FSRH is delighted to be able to offer RCN LARC accredited nurses the opportunity to transfer their qualification into the relevant letter of competence from the faculty.

“We have recently opened up our membership to nurses and we very much hope that any nurse working in sexual and reproductive healthcare will choose to do our qualifications,” he said.

“We look forward to nurses contributing their considerable skills and experience to our growing membership and in turn benefiting from being part of the Faculty.”

Peter Carter, chief executive and general secretary of the RCN, added: “We look forward to working closely with the faculty over the coming years.”

The faculty is part of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. Details of its new qualifications and how to obtain them can be found on the faculty’s website.

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