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New standards for care home nurses launched

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The standards were launched in January 2021 The pandemic has put a greater focus on care home nursing than ever before

Standards of education and practice for nurses new to care home nursing have been published by the Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) for the first time.

The QNI was commissioned by NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE/I) to develop the new standards to support the transition of a Registered Nurse who is new to working in the Care Home sector. The new standards were launched at a meeting of the QNI’s Care Home Nurses’ Network on 29 January 2021.

Read more: QNI publishes Race, Equality and Inclusivity Action Plan

‘The QNI has always recognised Care Home Nurses as highly valued members of the community nursing family. For the last five years we have focussed many of our programmes of work on supporting this workforce and providing opportunities for professional development,’ said Dr Crystal Oldman, QNI Chief Executive.

‘The well-established national QNI Care Home Nurse Network (supported by the RCN Foundation and the CNO for England) is a dynamic place for all Care Home Nurses to share and learn. Members of our network were vital to the development of the standards being launched today. I had the privilege of chairing the reference group for the standards development - a deeply committed group of nurses who shared the values of the QNI and were dedicated to supporting excellent care for each and every one of their residents. My thanks to them for their expert guidance and to NHSE/I for the funding which made it possible.’

Currently there are 36,000 registered nurses employed by adult social care and the care required by residents is becoming more complex and technologically sophisticated. According to the QNI, this requires the registered nursing staff to be skilled, knowledgeable and competent in caring for this group of people.

Read more: NMC announces new COVID-19 education standards

‘There has been a realisation across the health and care sector that nursing staff working in care homes support a unique area of practice and a very high level of responsibility in delivering care in settings that are complex and can involve multiple issues of physical and mental health dependency among residents,’ said Sharon Aldridge-Bent QN, Director of Nursing Programmes (Leadership) at the QNI.

‘This has been brought into even sharper focus by the pandemic and we have seen a greater focus on care homes than ever before in the past year. Government and system leaders realise that care homes are at the very centre of the health and social care system in every community in the UK and touch the lives of millions of individuals and families.’

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