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‘Refreshed’ preceptorship programme launched for newly-qualified nurses in Scotland

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A continuing professional development programme for newly-qualified nurses and midwives in Scotland has been relaunched today.

NHS Education for Scotland said it had redesigned the national development programme, Flying Start NHS, to “support the professional development needs of practitioners”.  

“It is designed to support the development of confident, skilled practitioners”

Colette Ferguson

The new programme content “reflects how the delivery of health and social care is changing – with a focus on the work environment”, it said.  

“It is more practical, work-based and can be tailored to individual needs,” added the education body.

The Flying Start programme, which is expected to take up to 12 months to complete, is open to all newly qualified practitioners in Scotland during their first year of practice.

It is specifically designed to support the “transition from pre-registration student to qualified, confident and capable health professional”.  

The programme is open to all newly-qualifieds working in any sector, from the NHS to care homes, independent settings and the armed forces.

It is designed to assist them to “navigate” entry into the NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework, the CPD section of the Agenda for Change contract.

The portfolio of evidence produced from taking part in Flying Start NHS can be used for the initial Knowledge and Skills Framework development review.

“The refreshed programme has been fully updated with the help of practitioners”

Flying Start guidance

Key features of the refreshed programme include “simplified” content and being more “learner directed”, with a focus on what is most beneficial to learn in the workplace.

The revised programme has been realigned with NES’s existing post-registration career development framework which is organised around four “pillars of practice”.

As a result, it has four key units – clinical practice, facilitation of learning, leadership, and evidence, research and development.

In contrast, the original version, which was launched around five years ago, was based around 10 learning units – including communications, teamwork and reflective practice.

The updated version also features new guidance – for practitioners, managers and facilitators –  and a three-month registration window – to allow newly-qualifieds “time to settle into their new role”.

The guidance document started: “The refreshed programme has been fully updated with the help of practitioners, and is designed to support the development of confident, skilled practitioners who will provide an important contribution to the health and care of people in Scotland.

“Flying Start NHS is our commitment to support these vital roles, as we know from research that when staff are supported emotionally and professionally and feel valued and nurtured, they are more likely to deliver the compassionate, safe, effective and person-centred care we all aspire to achieve for people.” it said.

Scottish government

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Fiona McQueen

Professor Fiona McQueen, chief nursing officer for Scotland, said: “Flying Start NHS is more important than ever.

“It helps prepare today’s newly qualified nurses, midwives and allied health professionals for an exciting and productive career, taking advantage of new opportunities and roles,” she said.

Dr Colette Ferguson, director of nursing, midwifery and allied health professions at NHS Education for Scotland, said: “I am proud of the legacy of Flying Start NHS and the role that it has played in supporting the development of our newly-qualified nurses, midwives and allied health professionals working across health and social care settings.

“I’m delighted to endorse the refreshed Flying Start NHS which has been fully updated with the help of practitioners, and that it is designed to support the development of confident, skilled practitioners who will provide an important contribution to the health and care of people in Scotland,” she added.

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