The Nursing and Midwifery Council should be considered as a potential source for funding the training of qualified nurses in the future, rather than relying “exclusively” on employers to pay for ongoing learning, according to a research body.
The National Nursing Research Unit at King’s College London said the “responsibility and funding for post-qualification education need not lie exclusively with employers, but shared between all relevant parties” such as the NMC, the Department of Health and workforce planning body Health Education England.
”Responsibility and funding for post-qualification education need not lie exclusively with employers”
In its report looking at post-graduate education and career pathways in nursing – which contributed to last month’s major review of pre and post registration training for nurses, the Shape of Caring – the NNRU pointed to research which showed lack of funding as being one of the most common reasons why nurses did not attend training courses.
Currently the NMC provides no funding for any form of ongoing nurse training or education.
However, the regulator does require all nurses to complete a minimum amount of ongoing training – referred to as continuing professional development – to remain on the NMC register.
The NMC states employers have a responsibility to support staff to take part in ongoing learning activities, which “may mean ensuring that any funding required to support attendance at learning activities is protected”.
“There needs to be investment in CPD that reflects the diverse needs of the nursing workforce”
It is usually down to both employers and nurses to negotiate how much of the worker’s CPD will be paid for by them.
From December, the minimum amount of CPD that nurses must complete every three years will rise from 35 to 40 hours, due to the regulator’s introduction of a new system checking nurse competencies – called revalidation.
The NNRU report, co-authored by Anne Marie Rafferty, Andreas Xyrichis and Chris Caldwell, also said that continuing professional development should in the future be “clearly linked” to nurse career development rather than being viewed as a way of maintaining standards.
Meanwhile, “scaling and speeding up” the production of advanced and specialist nurses should also be considered to deal with the increasing demand in primary and community care, according to the NNRU.
The report concluded: “There needs to be investment in CPD that reflects the diverse needs of the nursing workforce and the changing profile of the current and future patient as much as workforce.
“This needs to be linked with nurses’ career pathways, enabling them to make the transition from newly registered to advanced practice nurse across different domains appear seamless.”