Student nurses could train on updated university courses under new standards from as early as September 2018, according to the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s lead advisor for reforming nurse education.
Earlier this year, a review of the NMC’s current pre-registration standards, which date back to 2010, concluded that they were no longer fit for purpose for the future role of nursing and needed revising.
“There will be an option for early adopters to implement the new standards from September 2018”
Jill Macleod Clark
The review – led by Professor Dame Jill Macleod Clark, who is now the NMC’s lead advisor for developing the new nursing standards – found they needed to be made clearer and ensure students were trained with higher level skills and competencies.
The NMC has previously said that universities would be expected to comply with the new standards from September 2019.
But in a blog post last week, Dame Jill revealed some universities would have the option to run pre-registration courses under the new standards from September 2018.
In an update on her work so far, she also highlighted the new standards would have to support registered nurses to work “flexibly and accountably across care settings, with a continuing shift in focus on care delivered in non-hospital environments”.
“The demand for evidence-based, compassionate nursing care will escalate, and the ability to delegate care to unregistered members of teams safely and effectively will be crucial,” she said.
“A confident knowledge base, encompassing both behavioural and biosciences, to undertake assessments of mental and physical health status [will be required]”
Jill Macleod Clark
She also stressed that, in the future, nurses must be trained to support people “from birth through to the end of life” and that “they must also be able to meet the needs of those facing commonly encountered mental and physical health challenges and/or intellectual disability”.
She highlighted that “a confident knowledge base, encompassing both behavioural and biosciences, in order to undertake assessments of mental and physical health status, interpret data and make evidence-based decisions about nursing care requirements,” was needed.
Dame Jill also described a recent report by the Council of Deans of Health – which made a series of suggestions for developing the new standards including for them to potentially feature prescribing – as “excellent and provocative”.
She reiterated that the new standards would continue to be drafted throughout 2016, with formal consultation by the NMC between April and June 2017.
“The final set of standards is due to be published by early 2018. There will be an option for early adopters to implement the new standards from September 2018, and the NMC anticipates that all institutions will adopt the new standards by September 2019,” said Dame Jill.