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The big question: does nurse education need another review?


Health Education England and the Nursing and Midwifery Council will launch a major review of nurse education in May.

The Shape of Caring review, which will be led by Lord Willis of Knaresborough, will investigate the standard of education provided to around 60,000 nursing and midwifery students each year and will also consider the standard of post-registration training for NHS nurses once they have qualified.

It follows concerns over the standard of nurse training raised by the Francis report into care failings at Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust.

The review is due to produce a final report by early next year.

Do you welcome this review?


Readers' comments (2)

  • I don't believe that undergraduate nurse education needs another review, but I will wait to see the terms of reference as I'm not sure exactly what this review will be examining. Willis' previous review of UG nursing was pretty unequivocal, so I hope he builds on that and strengthens the recognition of the broad and deep knowledge base that registered nurses need.

    I do welcome a review of post qualifying education, CPD, post graduate education. This is the only means by which the knowledge and competence of the existing workforce can be enhanced and at the moment it does not seem to be a priority for NHS service providers. Francis' report drew attention to the shortcomings of longstanding registered nurses and it was not 'new graduates' - as far as I am aware - that were brought before the NMC for malpractice. It is, of course, easier to look to the 'feeder pipeline' because investigating the whole of the nursing workforce and checking how they maintain their competence and knowledge is difficult, costly and almost impossible to adequately police with any real hope of assurance.

    This is where I believe Willis together with the NMC can have most impact and I fully support a rigorous and comprehensive review of this particular area of ongoing nurse education.

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  • Helena King

    Absolutely. As a service user in the mental health services and a student mental health nurse, I can say the foundations of training for students lacks service-user input as the NMC advertises. Students are be insert out into practice with no encounters necessarily with anyone who has been acutely unwell or been in the psychiatric services.
    Thus not just putting students at risk and at a disadvantage academically, but also heir behaviour and communication potentially harms client simply because they do not know how to behave. This one sided kind of education at present also breeds bad practice, as students go into placement, copying mentors and not starting off with the principles of patient-centred care which produces another generation of poor quality nurses by the lack of knowledge of service user opinion.

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