Since the withdrawal of NMC Community Nursing Practice Teacher Standards, the Practice Teacher qualification has ceased to be offered by many Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the United Kingdom. 

The QNI has received significant feedback from healthcare provider organisations that they urgently require a replacement qualification in order to support learning and practice in the community setting.  

The QNI therefore intends to publish new Practice Teacher Standards in 2022 to support any HEI in the UK that wishes to develop a new programme. 

The consistent themes from the provider organisations’ feedback we have received are: 

  • Practice Teacher skills continue to be required for teaching SPQ and SCPHN students in practice 
  • The Practice Teacher role has a wider remit for developing the learning environment, including pre-registration student placements  
  • Practice Teachers are diminishing in number due to retirement  
  • Support for SPQ and SCPHN students and the wider teaching and learning environment will not be sufficient to meet continuing needs 
  • The experience of SPQ and SCPHN students is less positive where they have not been supported by a Practice Teacher. 

Many service providers have expressed surprise that Practice Teacher standards were withdrawn by the NMC and were unaware this had happened until programmes were closed by Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). Health Education England no longer commissions Practice Teacher programmes, so central funding is currently not available in England.  

In order to understand the situation more fully, the QNI has undertaken two surveys, one for Practice Teachers and one for Educators in Higher Education Institutions. The surveys have now closed, however, the data gathered will be used to inform the development of the QNI’s new Practice Teacher Standards, due to be published in 2022. 

Focus Groups

The next steps are for us to hold focus groups via the Zoom virtual platform to offer you the opportunity to contribute to the development of these standards. The sessions will be held on 16 February (England), 23 February (Northern Ireland, Wales), 1 March 2022 (England). Book your place now.

Relevant links

Read our new blog by Melanie Hayward, a RN-Child and SCPHN-SN here: ‘Continuing to Develop Educators for SCPHN and SPQ Students’.

Download an example of a practice education programme by Buckinghamshire New University below.

Download the information sheet about the Practice Assessor module at the University of the West of England.

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