The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has reviewed the standards of education and practice for post-registration community nursing.

The QNI submitted a written response to the NMC in a letter dated 29 July 2021. You can view the letter and online consultation responses below.

The NMC review affects the existing five recordable Specialist Practitioner Qualifications (SPQs): District Nursing, General Practice Nursing, Community Mental Health Nursing, Community Learning Disabilities Nursing, and Community Children’s Nursing. It also has significant implications and presents opportunities for nurses leading teams in other nurse led-services in the community, such as Care Home Nursing and in Homeless and Inclusion Health services.

The Queen’s Nursing Institute is very concerned that the NMC proposes that in future there will be no field-specific (or ‘bespoke’) standards of proficiency for the five individual annotated qualifications. Community Specialist Practitioners are working at an advanced level of practice, leading the teams and the care provided for people with highly complex health needs. Each role requires both shared and specialist knowledge and skills.

We are concerned that core standards of proficiency, without specific standards for the annotated qualifications, risks leading to considerable unwarranted variation in community post-registration qualifications, resulting in confusion and inconsistency for students, educators, and employers. Without field-specific standards set by the NMC or any other expert professional organisation, ultimately there is a risk that the public will not be adequately protected.

Read our press release of 15 March 2021, including the text of our letter to the NMC of 12 March and our comments on the NMC’s Pye Tait report of November 2020.

This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to influence the future of nursing care in the community in the United Kingdom. The QNI believes it is vital that the nursing profession, working collectively, gets this right, and we want to help the NMC to get it right for the nursing profession and for the communities served.

The review also affects the registrable qualification of Specialist Community Public Health Nurse (SCPHN) with annotations of Health Visiting, Occupational Health Nursing and School Nursing. These do have field-specific and core standards of proficiency under the new proposals, unlike the SPQs.

To read the latest update from the NMC about their review process visit their website (updated 3 February 2022).

QNI Campaign

The QNI created the social media assets below to support our campaign for specific standards and you are welcome to use them. Please also use the hashtag: #SpecificStandards .

If you wish to write an email to the NMC, the email address to use is

Voluntary Standards

The QNI and QNI Scotland have produced a series of voluntary standards for areas of Specialist Community Nursing Practice in recent years.

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