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Next step for the nursing career framework

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At the CNO Summit last month, Christine Beasley launched the prototype of our visual model of the nursing career framework.

This allows nurses to demonstrate clearly how roles can be mapped across care pathways to show the full range of career and service development opportunities that nursing offers.

The launch of this prototype mapping tool builds on the DH’s Towards A Framework for Post-registration Nursing Careers document and meets the recommendation in A High Quality Workforce to update career pathways and choices for nurses.

“We started this work by focusing on four specialities and fields as case studies,’ says Chris Caldwell, Programme Director for Modernising Nursing Careers (MNC).

“We held creative workshops with clinical nurses, managers, educators and researchers from learning disabilities nursing, cancer nursing, health visiting and nurses working with sick and disabled children and young people. We asked them to create pictures to show the relationship between the different nursing roles, using the pathway-based post-registration nursing career framework as a starting point.

“We were really amazed that the information gathered at each workshop was remarkably similar, so we were able to put it all together and, with the help of our creative team, come up with a single visual image.”

The MNC team has created a flexible, dynamic visual design for the prototype, which they will now further
develop to allow the post-registration nursing career framework to:

  • demonstrate the wide range of career opportunities in nursing
  • provide a simple approach to nursing workforce planning
  • support effective education and service commissioning
  • support recruitment and marketing of nursing.

To give you an idea of its potential, the MNC team has launched the prototype map in the form of two posters: one aimed at marketing nursing as a career and one aimed at managers and commissioners to promote the breadth and potential of nursing roles.

“We want to familiarise people with the visual image through these posters, and test their appeal. We are keen
for feedback and comments, so please email us with your thoughts,” says Chris.

“We will now begin work on an interactive mapping tool based on this image, to be launched in the spring of 2010.”

Links and info

Click below to download the posters:

Does the poster appeal to you - do you think you could - use it in your organisation, specialist group or region? Email Chris Caldwell on at

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