The Queen’s Nursing Institute has developed Field Specific Standards for a further three recognised specialisms within community nursing.

The new Standards have been created to support Specialist Practitioner Qualifications (SPQs) for nurses studying at an advanced level of practice in any country of the UK.

The QNI Standards build on the NMC’s (2022) generic Standards for community nursing and reflect an advanced level of practice in the fields of:

  • Health and Justice Nursing,
  • Community Learning Disability Nursing
  • Palliative and End of Life Care Nursing.

The new Standards have been built around the four pillars (domains) of advanced practice and are mapped to these domains, demonstrating the advanced level of practice for which Registered Nurses taking the SPQ are being prepared. Service users/experts by experience, representatives from higher education and other institutions, and expert nurses from all four UK countries were involved in the development of the Standards.

HEIs can develop and map their SPQ courses to the QNI’s Standards through an endorsement process. The Standards enable the development and assessment of SPQ programmes tailored to deliver specific skills and knowledge associated with highly complex and specialist areas of practice. Endorsed programmes will be listed on the QNI website and successful students will receive QNI certifications.

The three new Standards follow six Standards that were published in 2023 and all nine Standards are listed on the QNI website.

To request further information about any of the nine Standards, visit: https://qni.org.uk/nursing-in-the-community/standards/


There are real benefits to nurses, employers and patients flowing from the QNI Field Specific Standards. Nurses will have access to clearly articulated educational pathways based on standards which are consistently applied by HEIs for their field of practice. Nurses graduating from SPQ programmes endorsed by the QNI will have recognised skills and knowledge, mapped against all relevant national standards, to enable them to practice and to lead teams at an advanced level, improving care for patients, families and residents with complex needs. There are also wider benefits in terms of staff development, recruitment and retention across the system.

Dr Crystal Oldman CBE, the QNI’s Chief Executive



The QNI has a unique track record of developing voluntary Standards in community nursing since 2015. One educator wrote that he had found QNI standards to be “an invaluable resource for universities to map their programme and module outcomes to” adding, “This has ensured a robust approach that has enabled the development of courses, modules and assessment strategies that meet the needs of students in evidence-based contemporary practice.”

Further information about Advanced Clinical Practice (NHS England): https://advanced-practice.hee.nhs.uk/multi-professional-framework-for-advanced-clinical-practice-in-england/


Video title

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit. Aliquid aperiam corporis ea earum eveniet nemo, porro voluptatibus! A expedita in laborum non odit quidem quis quod reiciendis reprehenderit sint? Quo.