New standards for the future nurse

The knowledge and skills nurses need when joining our register

What do nurses think the future holds?

We asked nurses and student nurses what they think the future holds for their profession. This is what they told us.

As the regulator of nurses and midwives, our role is to protect the public. One of the ways in which we do this is by setting and maintaining standards of education, training and conduct.

Our standards of proficiency for nurses set out the skills and knowledge student nurses need to have before they can join our register.

Healthcare is changing. There is a greater emphasis on nurses providing integrated care across different settings and working closely with other professionals. Nurses are caring for an increasingly diverse population with complex needs, and need to keep up with advances in technology.

That’s why we’re modernising the standards for the education and training for nurses so they’re equipped with the skills and knowledge they need to practise now and in the future.

What have we done so far?

Our work in this area has been led by Professor Dame Jill MacLeod Clark and supported by a thought leadership group made up of nurses representing the different stages and settings of nursing careers.

Throughout this project, we’ve engaged with nurses, midwives, educators, employers, policy-makers and the public to understand their views on the future of nursing education.

Our engagement during 2016 enabled us to develop draft new standards of proficiency for registered nurses, which we consulted on formally between June and September 2017.

We also consulted on a new education framework and standards for prescribing.

We heard from more than 1000 people and from many organisations during the consultation.

What are we doing now?

An independent, external company called Why Research Ltd collected and analysed the consultation responses.

Now that Why Research Ltd has sent us their analysis, our in-house specialists are working closely with external experts and key organisations to look at all the evidence we collected during the consultation. They are using this evidence to refine the draft standards.

What happens next?

We will bring our proposed final standards to our Council for approval in spring 2018.

We anticipate that all our approved education institutions will adopt the new standards of proficiency for registered nurses by September 2019.