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Community nurse education 'must be developed'

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Improving training for the community nursing workforce is the “most important issue in professional education”, according to senior nurses writing in next week’s Nursing Times.

Years of “decline” in the number of courses offering a specialist practitioner qualification in nursing at home and falling numbers of qualified district nurses in recent years run counter to the increasing drive to move care into the community, warn Queen’s Nursing Institute director Rosemary Cook and Association of District Nurse Educators chair Heather Bain.

Although, they say this is being reversed in some areas and note that the Nursing and Midwifery Council is reviewing community nurse education, they say: “It is essential that the education of the community nursing workforce is developed.”

In spite of the current financial climate, they say: “This is not the time to randomise the teaching of essential community skills, but rather the crucial moment to set new standards for this area of practice to protect patients and most service delivery needs.”

Ms Cook and Ms Bain, along with Queen’s Nurse Anne Smith, set out in the article how they think education for community nurses should look in the future.

  • Read the full article in next week’s Nursing Times

The Royal College of Nursing last week launched a consultation calling on nurses to give their views on the future role and functions of the health visiting service and wider public health nursing roles.

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