New education standards for nurses have been announced by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), introducing changes to the way nursing training is carried out.
Developed by the NMC alongside nurses, students, educators, healthcare professionals, charities and patient groups over the past two years, the new standards will allow graduates to train as prescribers immediately, as opposed to three years after graduation.
Students will also now be supported by supervisors and assessors in both practice and academic settings, while the cap on the number of hours trainees can spend on simulation activities - as opposed to practical training - will be removed.
Other changes include the removal of its standards for medicines management, adopting the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) competency framework for prescribers instead, and the application of consistent procedures and communication skills to all fields of nursing practice.
Nurses are expected to begin training in accordance with the new standards from January 2019. According to the NMC, the new standards are designed to lead to greater independence of assessment, to foster innovation by placement providers, and to ensure nurses have a better understanding across all four fields of practice, allowing them to assume expanded responsibilities in public health.
Jackie Smith, chief executive and registrar of the NMC, said: "Our new standards represent a huge leap forward. They raise the bar for the next generation of nurses and not only match the demands of the role but the ambition of the profession.
"This is vital as in the coming years, many thousands of new professionals will join our register, delivering care to millions of people."
Over the coming months, the NMC has pledged to work alongside the RPS to produce consistent guidance for all health and social care professionals.
Written by James Puckle
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