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Have the NMC educational standards become overly adult-centric?

10 June 2021
6 min read
Volume 30 · Issue 11

Abstract

Emeritus Professor Alan Glasper, from the University of Southampton, and Debbie Fallon, Chair of the Children's and Young People's Nursing Academics of the United Kingdom group, explore concerns raised by academic nurses regarding the Nursing and Midwifery Council standards for pre-registration nursing education

 

The UK, unlike most other countries, retains four specific pre-registration routes to the nursing register: adult, children and young people (CYP), mental health and learning disability nursing. However, although the 2010 standards for pre-registration nursing education from the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) listed separate competencies for each of these fields (NMC, 2010), the 2018 Future Nurse standards of proficiency for registered nurses are structured as a generic set of standards ‘designed to apply across all four fields of practice’ (NMC, 2018a:6).

It is this application that is a cause for concern because educational institutions and their practice partners are given significant and unprecedented leeway to decide how much of the curriculum should be generic or field of practice specific when designing their own programmes (NMC, 2018b). Undoubtedly exacerbated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the requirement to move swiftly to remote learning, disquieting reports are circulating that teaching content pertinent to the smaller fields of practice is being undermined and replaced by adult-nursing-centric tuition. Here, we discuss the issue through the lens of CYP nursing.

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