The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has approved the development of new competencies for nurses entering the profession.
The decision, which was approved at last week’s Council meeting, came after a series of discussions and debates with key stakeholders concluded that new standards were needed.
‘The nature of nursing work is changing fast. With more care being given in the community and patients presenting with a range of complex conditions, nurses are facing increased challenges in the workplace,’ said Jackie Smith, NMC chief executive and registrar.
‘To meet these challenges, they will need to be prepared with a different set of skills and competencies, focusing on areas such as high quality, cross sector care, people management skills, and public health promotion, and it is essential that our pre-registration education standards cater for these,’ she said.
A series of discussions with key stakeholders including registered nurses, nursing students, nurse educators and patient representatives, led Council to agree that the pre-registration standards for nursing and midwifery education needed to be updated. The previous competencies were last established in 2010.
One of the main issues that came out of the consultation was around increasing clinical leadership roles of registered nurses and the acquisition of knowledge and skills required to deal with complexity and co-morbidity. It was concluded that there was a need to ensure that education outcomes are geared to higher level skills and competencies.
It was also agreed that there needed to be a review of the current standards for pre-registration to achieve clarity and consistency in nursing across the UK.
The development of new competencies forms part of the strategic delivery plan for education to be developed by the NMC. This will be presented to Council in March 2016.
‘Council has taken the decision to approve further work on defining the skills and competencies of the nurse of the future. This is a substantial piece of work that will involve close collaboration with our stakeholders across the UK,’ said Ms Smith.