The Advisory Board overseeing the Queen’s Nursing Institute’s Field Specific Standards for Community Nursing held its second meeting on 2nd November.

The Board discussed the official prospectus outlining the QNI’s rationale and strategy to develop nine sets of Field Specific Standards, due to be published in 2023.

The QNI’s Field Specific Standards build on the NMC’s core standards for post registration community nursing Specialist Practitioner Qualifications (SPQs) published earlier this year. The QNI’s standards are being developed with the support and involvement of the NMC and representatives of nursing and health education organisations from across the UK.

The QNI standards are being developed and agreed for all four countries of the UK, in response to calls by employers and educators for guidance when applying the SPQ core standards to specific fields of practice within community nursing. Under the QNI’s proposals, individual nurses will have access to clearer and more distinctive and nationally agreed educational pathways, contextualised within each specific field of practice and reflecting an advanced level of practice.

Read the prospectus here: Field Specific Standards for Education and Practice

Creating our future community nursing workforce requires a consistent approach to the development of excellent practice and clinical leadership. Our work on specific standards is designed to build upon the broad regulatory standards of the NMC to ensure that wherever a person lives, works or accesses services the care they receive is of the highest quality, based on evidence and tailored to their own individual needs.

Professor John Unsworth OBE

Universities will be invited to map their post-registration Specialist Practitioner Qualification programmes to the QNI’s field specific standards. Benefits of mapping these courses to the QNI’s field specific standards include:

  • Articulating the essential skills and experience necessary to practice and autonomously and at an advanced level in situations that are complex and challenging
  • Enabling employers to know that nurses applying for posts around the UK have the necessary skills and knowledge for particular roles
  • Supporting community nurses to lead teams of regulated and unregulated staff in high-risk, complex nurse-led services, to deliver the best patient care possible in the community.

Each of the nine standards is being developed by a Standards Reference Group, composed of experts in the relevant field. When complete, the draft standards will be reviewed by the QNI’s Advisory Board, Chaired by Professor John Unsworth OBE, the QNI’s Chair of Council.

The QNI’s field specific standards of education and practice will enable the development – and assessment – of Specialist Practitioner Qualification (SPQ) programmes that are tailored to deliver the field specific skills and knowledge required for specialist community nursing practice. Universities offering SPQs mapped against the QNI’s field specific standards will have an attractive offer for post-registration students wishing to progress their career and practice at an advanced level, within a recognised specialism.

Dr Crystal Oldman CBE

Notes to Editors

The QNI was established in 1887 and has its origins in setting standards for, educating and organising the District Nursing workforce. In recent years the QNI has built on its educational heritage to extend its work with higher education institutions delivering post-registration nurse education programmes.

The first Voluntary Standards for District Nurse Education and Practice were published by the QNI and QNI Scotland in 2015 and have been followed at regular intervals by standards for Community Children’s Nursing, General Practice Nursing, Community Learning Disability Nursing and Standards for Nurses new to working in Care Homes.

The QNI’s new Field Specific Standards will create standards of education and practice for nine community nursing specialisms, with publication due dates:

  • Adult Social Care Nursing (Jan 23)
  • Community Children’s Nursing* (Jan 23)
  • Community Mental Health Nursing* (Jan 23)
  • District Nursing* (Jan 23)
  • General Practice Nursing* (Jan 23)
  • Homeless and Inclusion Health Nursing (Jan 23)
  • Criminal Justice Nursing (Jul 23)
  • Community Learning Disability Nursing* (Jul 23)
  • Hospice Nursing (Jul 23)

These nine areas include the five formally recordable NMC community specialisms (marked with *), with an additional four specialisms that recognise additional fields of practice community nurses work in today. Standards for these additional fields are being developed following feedback from the wider nursing and healthcare sector.

Read the prospectus here: Field Specific Standards for Education and Practice

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