The Nursing and Midwifery Council has launched its consultation on pre-registration training standards for nurses, urging members of the profession to take part and help “shape the future of education”.
Last month the regulator published its proposals, which include more drug prescribing theory being taught at an undergraduate level and the requirement for all students to be competent in an extensive list of technical skills.
“The health and care landscape is changing at an unprecedented rate and nurses are being asked to undertake more complex roles”
The NMC said there was also an increased focus on public health, health education and leadership in the standards of proficiency.
The new requirements apply to nurses across all fields of practice – adult, children’s, mental health and learning disability nursing – and are designed to give a more detailed understanding across both mental and physical health and care.
In an interview with Nursing Times this week, NMC chief executive and registrar Jackie Smith said she believed the proposals had “cracked” the challenge of incorporating mental and physical healthcare education.
Today’s consultation also includes new standards for universities and organisations providing placements.
Changes include allowing universities to use simulation activities for up to half of the 2,300 hours that students are required to spend in practice during their degree – instead of the current limit of 300. This could mean students spend less time on placements.
In addition, the regulator wants to alter the way mentoring works. According to the proposals, students will in the future be supervised in practice by any registered health or social care professional.
But their learning will be judged by a “nominated practice assessor” and also a “nominated academic assessor”, both required to be a registered nurse or midwife.
The NMC said it aimed to reduce the variability of learning in practice and “ensure a more consistent student experience that enables them to meet the requirements necessary for registration”.
“The health and care landscape is changing at an unprecedented rate and nurses and midwives are being asked to undertake more complex roles than ever before,” said Ms Smith, as she launched the consultation today.
“It is vital that we hear from everyone on our register, employers, educators and the public about our proposals”
She said: “In the coming years many thousands of nurses and midwives will join our register, delivering care to millions of people. Our standards must ensure that they are able to work in ways that are not only fit for today, but also for the future.
“It is now vital that we hear from everyone on our register, employers, educators and the public about our proposals. This is your opportunity to have your say and shape the future of nursing education,” she added.
The NMC’s consultation on pre-registration education standards will now run until 12 September. The regulator will be running a series of engagement events including webinars, Twitter chats and workshops across the UK over the next three months.
It is expected to launch a second consultation on its new standards for medicines management and prescribing on Thursday.