NMC launch consultation on draft standards for specialist community public health nursing (SCPHN) qualifications and specialist practice qualifications (SPQs). 

The consultation, which marks the next stage of the NMC’s review of post-registration standards,  seeks to update standards routinely to keep pace with advances and the evolving nature of nursing standards. 

The NMC said “Our new post-registration standards will make sure that everyone can be confident about receiving support and care from these specialist practitioners that is safe, effective and kind. 

“We want to make sure that professionals in these roles have the additional knowledge and skills they need to deliver high quality care. And that these skills and knowledge reflect the wider changes in our society and their effects on current and future health and care needs of people.” 

Among the roles covered by the standards include health visitors, occupational health nurses, school nurses, district nurses and general practice nurses. 

This consultation has not been without controversy however. Concerns about the proposals for the have previously been raised by the Queen’s Nursing Institute and the Royal College of Nursing.

Criticism levelled at the NMC includes the timing of the consultation during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the fact that many nurses affected are involved in the delivery of the national vaccination campaign.

However, Professor Geraldine Walters CBE, Executive Director of Professional Practice for the NMC, said:

“Due to the challenges and pressures of the pandemic over the past 12 months, we’re extending the consultation period to four months and are ensuring there are a range of accessible opportunities so that as many people as possible can con-tribute in a variety of ways.”

He continued:

“Community and public health nursing has never been more important. We want these new standards to reflect the realities of modern community and public health nursing and equip professionals with the right skills for the future.

“This is the time for you to tell us what you think and to help shape the proposals by letting us know what needs to be added, taken away, or changed.

“We’re grateful to everyone who has shared their views so far, and we want to hear from even more people during the consultation. This will help us support the community and public health nurses of the future along with the millions who will need their care.”

The consultation will run until 2 August 2021.

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