Community nursing: will new standards be a panacea?
After more than 15 years the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is reviewing standards for specialist practice (NMC, 2021). There has been extensive work undertaken to explore what practitioners, educators and employers think about the outdated standards (NMC, 2019; Pye Tait Consulting, 2020). This work shows how, in the past, the NMC, through the standards for Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (SCPHN) and the Specialist Practitioner Qualifications (SPQs), attempted to create an economy of scale by conflating community nursing with public health work. That this did not meet the needs of nurses is evident in the pre-consultation evaluation (NMC, 2019). There is concern from children's community nurses (CCNs) that the NMC is repeating its error of attempting to construct ‘generic’ standards (Launder, 2021), which allow education providers to deliver potentially more commercially profitable programmes, but which do not meet the needs of nurses or their patients.
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