• 30 July 2021
  • 3 min read

#FutureCommunityNurse – What Will The Future Of Community Nursing Look Like?

  • Matt Farrah
    Co-Founder
    • Richard Gill
    • Mat Martin
    • Aubrey Hollebon
  • 0
  • 366
What Will The Future Of Community Nursing Look Like?

The NMC is running a consultation on updating its specialist community public health nurses (SCPHN) and specialist practice qualifications (SPQs) standards for the first time in 15 years.

These post-registration standards are designed to complement the Future Nurse and Future Midwife standards for pre-registration education, which are already in place.

What measures for community nursing would you like to see recommended by the consultation? Comment 💬 Like ❤️ Reply 🙂 below.

Andrea Sutcliffe, the NMC’s Chief Executive and Registrar explained:

“It’s been more than 15 years since standards…were updated. So much has changed since then and the role of nurses in the community has become ever more important – not least in the last 18 months through our experience of the pandemic.”

Do you think the NMC should have been looking at updating these standards at an earlier date, and how much can the pandemic be blamed for any delay?

The most recent NMC report shows ‘concerning’ reductions in the numbers of nursing professionals with these qualifications on the register – SCPHN health visitor numbers fell by 3% from March 2017 to March 2021, SPQ district nurses decreased by 4.9%, and SPQ community mental health nurses by 16.4%.

These reductions have occurred at a time when the demand for community nursing has been rising.

What measures could the NMC as the professional regulator take to arrest and possibly reverse this decline?

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What do YOU think?

Let me know your thoughts in the Comments & click Like!

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The NMC is responsible for regulating two different types of community post-registration qualifications. If a candidate successfully completes a Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (SCPHN) course, they can join the SCPHN part of the register, in addition to the part of the register which indicates their initial registration as a nurse and/or midwife.

In addition, any registered nurse can gain an NMC approved specialist practice qualification (SPQ). This qualification is annotated next to their name as it already appears on the register. This demonstrates that they have successfully undertaken a course in a particular specialty that the NMC has approved.

However, unlike SCPHN qualifications, the NMC does not have the legal power to have a separate part of the register for SPQ.

At present the NMC does not commission or fund courses at universities, doesn’t have the power to make post registration qualifications mandatory for different roles, nor can they decide what is or isn’t a protected title, though this is an issue that has been raised with the government.

Should the NMC, as part of this consultation look at acquiring the power from the government to mandate qualifications and protected titles for itself?

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What do YOU think?

Let me know your thoughts in the Comments & click Like!

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An independent evaluation commissioned by the NMC prior to this consultation found that courses leading to the qualification of family health nurse and public health nurse SCPHN roles are not being commissioned now and have not been running for some time.

Would giving the NMC the power to mandate and legislate for protected titles avoid such a disconnect between regulator, education providers and practicing professionals?

Health and care are evolving, and nursing practice is changing and advancing at the same time. There is a resultant need to update standards regularly.

All pre-registration standards, prescribing standards, education framework, and standards for student supervision and assessment have been reviewed and transformed over the last four years.

Only the remaining post-registration standards have yet to be updated, hence the consultation.

To what extent do you think the experience of COVID will influence any recommendations the consultation issues?

And what difference, if any, will the mooted 3% pay increase for NHS staff make to the consultation process and eventual recommendations?

Please let us know what you think in the comments below and give the article a Like if you found it interesting.

Thanks.

About the author

  • Matt Farrah
    Co-Founder

I studied English before moving into publishing in the mid 90s. I co-founded Nurses.co.uk and our other three sites in 2008. I wanted to provide a platform that gives a voice to those working in health and social care. I'm fascinated, generally, by the career choices we all make. But I'm especially interested in the stories told by those who choose to spend their life supporting others. They are mostly positive and life-affirming stories, despite the considerable challenges and burdens faced.

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  • Matt Farrah
    Co-Founder

About the author

  • Matt Farrah
    Co-Founder

I studied English before moving into publishing in the mid 90s. I co-founded Nurses.co.uk and our other three sites in 2008. I wanted to provide a platform that gives a voice to those working in health and social care. I'm fascinated, generally, by the career choices we all make. But I'm especially interested in the stories told by those who choose to spend their life supporting others. They are mostly positive and life-affirming stories, despite the considerable challenges and burdens faced.

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