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Plans for 'virtual faculty' to set specialist nurse standards

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A “virtual faculty” that sets national standards and competencies required for specialist nurse roles is to be looked into by England’s workforce planning body.

“Widespread support” has been voiced across the nursing and health care system for creating such a faculty, to help nurses progress in their careers more easily, said Health Education England in its latest board papers.

At an HEE meeting this week, board members agreed work should be done to see if a “faculty of care” for nurses and others - such as allied health professionals - could be set up.

“The faculty of care would…produce clear standards around advanced practice and for specialist nurses”

Lisa Bayliss-Pratt

The idea is in response to a major review of nursing education and training – the Shape of Caring Review – commissioned by HEE, which reported its findings earlier this year.

At this week’s board meeting, HEE formally accepted all 34 recommendations made by the Shape of Caring Review.

Lisa Bayliss-Pratt

Lisa Bayliss-Pratt

Lisa Bayliss-Pratt

Presenting an update on the work HEE has been doing since the review was published, the body’s director of nursing Lisa-Bayliss Pratt said nurses and employers wanted clear standards for nurse roles to improve career progression, recruitment and retention.

She described the career of a nurse as being “ad hoc” at the moment, pointing to the varying educational requirements required for the same role, such as a consultant nurse, across different parts of the country.

Ms Bayliss-Pratt described the now defunct English National Board – which used to set standards for post registration nurse training courses until it ceased in 2002 – as a “gem”, suggesting the virtual faculty could carry out similar work.

“The faculty of care…would look at system leadership and how people get their continuing professional development and then produce clear standards around advanced practice and for specialist nurses,” said Ms Bayliss-Pratt.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • michael stone

    What does 'virtual faculty' mean ?

    I'm guessing, it means a sort of 'online-only' resource, with no 'physical location' - if I'm wrong, what does it mean ?

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