Implementing the standards of proficiency for registered nurses

More information about putting our standards of proficiency for registered nurses into practice.

Over the last few years we've been developing our standards, the following information and resources are aimed to help you put our standards of proficiency for registered nurses into practice.

Practice learning scenarios

Our practice learning scenarios will help you understand how our new standards of proficiency will work and should be implemented in the real world.

Explore our practice environment case scenarios for nursing programmes.

We've set out some example scenarios and further information on how nursing students can demonstrate their proficiency in a range of practice learning envrironments.

We'll continue to update this area with examples in different practice learning environments. We've staggered the publication of the information so that some of it is available as soon as possible, which we hope will help with the implementation of the new standards.

Supporting information on standards for student supervision and assessment

These pages contain the supporting information for all our new standards relating to student supervision and assessment. This information is updated regularly.

Downloadable resources

Useful resources

Webinars 

Your questions answered

What's the impact of the new standards of proficiency on registered nurses?

The Future Nurse: Standards of proficiency for registered nurses set the standards of proficiency necessary for safe and effective practice at the point of registration.

Paragraph 6.2 of the Code requires you as a registered nurse to maintain the skills and knowledge necessary for safe and effective practice. As such, you need to continue to develop your knowledge and skills after initial registration to enable you to work safely and effectively within your chosen nursing scope of practice. This means that you will continue to deepen your knowledge, skills and experience in any relevant areas outlined in these new standards of proficiency.

For revalidation nurses must demonstrate they’re are reflecting and maintaining Continuing Professional Development (CPD) in relation to their scope of practice. Where specialisation requires particular knowledge or skills, the standard required in practice should reflect that requirement. Nurses planning for revalidation should ensure that they remain up to date with the knowledge and skills that enable them to practise safely and effectively and consider their own development requirements in line with the new proficiencies and their own scope of practice.

Employers supporting nurses to meet CPD requirements for revalidation should consider the new proficiencies when discussing with nurses how they can develop their skills and knowledge.

What are some examples of new proficiencies which nurses are expected to achieve prior to registration?

> Intravenous administration – most registrants will have achieved this skill as it’s often taught and practiced to proficiency level immediately on qualifying, and will now be taught as part of pre-qualifying nursing

> Chest auscultation – currently not part of the curriculum. However, if a registered nurse was working within a medical ward or in the community where a number of patients in their care had respiratory problems, it would be beneficial for them to enhance their scope of practice to include chest auscultation. This could be done through formal study by undertaking a course that includes chest auscultation. It could also be achieved through shadowing a doctor or physiotherapist with such expertise, learning the skill from them, then reading and practicing the skill under their supervision until deemed proficient. This can be documented as part of the revalidation process.

> To enable early access to prescribing programmes after registration, more knowledge on prescribing practice, pharmokinetics, pharmacology and whole systems assessment is now included within the standards of proficiency

Will students be required to achieve the proficiencies and procedures within all fields of practice?

The proficiencies specify the knowledge and skills that registered nurses must demonstrate when caring for people of all ages and across all care settings.

There's no expectation that the proficiencies must be demonstrated in every health and care setting.

Students would normally demonstrate the ability to carry out nursing procedures within their own field of nursing practice. Where opportunities are limited in a particular field of practice, they may be demonstrated in any appropriate context or setting.