Sam Foster, Chief Nurse, Oxford University Hospitals, reflects on changes to the standards allowing more hours of simulated practice learning within pre-registration nursing courses, and the potential benefits
In 2021 the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) announced funding of up to £15 million for English universities to rapidly expand simulated learning for nursing and other healthcare students (DHSC, 2021), this was initially driven by the need to provide flexibility during the pandemic and lockdown restrictions, and was supported by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), who supported up to 300 hours of pre-registration practice education to be delivered via simulation.
In January this year, Devereux (2023) reported that the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has approved changes to the pre-registration education standards. The changes included a doubling of the number of hours that nursing students can receive in their programme for simulated practice learning. Education institutions will now be able to run simulation learning for 600 of the 2300 practice learning hours that students need to complete. This is double the amount that was previously permitted.
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