A credentialing programme for nurses working at an advanced level of practice is being rolled out across the country by the Royal College of Nursing, following a successful pilot scheme.
As reported by Nursing Times last year, the RCN began testing the voluntary scheme in November in order to provide experienced nurses with “much-needed” recognition and to boost their career prospects.
There are currently no national competency standards set by the Nursing and Midwifery Council for advanced nurse practitioners. The new RCN scheme marks the first time nurses working at this level are able to receive accreditation for their practice.
To be accepted onto the RCN’s credentialing programme, nurses will have to demonstrate their experience, qualifications and competence to a group of expert assessors.
They must also have a prescribing qualification recorded with the NMC and must have completed a master’s degree.
“The RCN’s credentialing programme will help the profession to adapt to…and recognise the new, complex roles which are emerging”
However, the RCN said today that it would ensure transitional arrangements were put in place until December 2020 for those nurses who were already working at an advanced level but did not currently have a full master’s degree.
Up until this time, those affected nurses will be able to apply to the schme by providing a portfolio of evidence, said the college.
Nurses who are accepted onto the scheme will be included on a public database of advanced nurses.
They will also receive a badge and certificate, and will be given opportunities to become ambassadors for advanced practice for the RCN.
It noted that it would cost £275 to initially be included on the database and nurses would be required to renew their membership to the scheme every three years for £125.
Announcing the launch of the scheme, RCN chief executive and general secretary Janet Davies said it would help the profession adapt to new developments.
“This programme will… give patients and employers confidence in the continuing development of their nursing staff”
“The RCN is nursing’s professional body and we take seriously our commitment to value, promote and enhance the profession,” she said.
“Nursing is constantly developing and changing and the RCN’s credentialing programme will help the profession to adapt to this and recognise the new, complex roles which are emerging,” said Ms Davies.
“This programme will use the RCN’s expertise and unparalleled knowledge of the profession to help nurses develop their careers and give patients and employers confidence in the continuing development of their nursing staff,” she added.