New post-registration standards will help deliver modern, effective community care

Published on 07 July 2022

Our new standards will benefit people and their wider communities.

Following Council approval in May, we’ve now published our new post-registration standards for specialist community public health nursing (SCPHN), and specialist community nursing qualifications (SPQ), and the programme standards which specify how courses leading to these qualifications should be delivered.

Our new standards set out the necessary knowledge and skills nurses and midwives need to provide specialist care and support for people, and the wider community. They enshrine what professionals will need to know and be able to do to provide the highest standard of modern specialist community, and public health nursing practice, in a health and care landscape that is constantly evolving.

Specialist community, and public health nursing is complex and diverse. In order to be effective, professionals need to work with a high degree of autonomy to provide timely support and care for people with wide-ranging needs. Our standards will give these professionals the skills to develop their careers to become the clinical experts of today, and the leaders of the future.

An additional SPQ for community nursing in health and social care with no field of practice specified will ensure that community nurses working in any role or setting who require additional levels of knowledge and skill to reach their maximum potential will have access to a regulated qualification.

And with a qualification that everyone can see on our register, it will also give people confidence that they’re being cared for by an expert practitioner who is able to provide the safe, effective and kind care they have the right to expect.

Prof Geraldine Walters CBE, Executive Director of Professional Practice at the NMC, said:

“I’m delighted that we’re today publishing our new post-registration standards. We began this programme of work in 2019, and, especially during the pandemic, it’s taken even more dedication from so many people in the sector to give their time to collaborate with us to achieve this result. We’re grateful to our partners and stakeholders who have worked with us during this time. And thank you to the many professionals and members of the public who offered their feedback during our consultation last year.

“We’re confident that these standards will provide professionals with the knowledge and skills they need to deliver excellent support and care for people and the wider community. They reflect the growing responsibility and ambition of specialist community, and public health nursing, and will enable professionals to deliver expert clinical care. They will also assure the public that their specialist nurses have the necessary knowledge and competence to look after them.

“We look forward to seeing how these standards benefit professionals, people and communities across the UK. It is both exciting and appropriate that these post registration standards for community nursing are a forerunner to our future work to explore advanced practice.”

The UK’s four Chief Nursing Officers said:

“As the health needs of our populations have become increasingly complex and health inequalities widen, it is essential that specialist community and public health professional practice adapts to meet these needs. 

“As Chief Nursing Officers we very much welcome the publication of the new standards which will equip professionals with the knowledge and skills required to provide modernised, safe and effective care to people in their homes and across community settings.”

Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer, England
Maria McIlgorm, Chief Nursing Officer, Northern Ireland
Alex McMahon, Chief Nursing Officer, Scotland
Sue Tranka, Chief Nursing Officer, Wales

Notes to editors:


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