Nursing and nursing associates
Nursing and nursing associate students should be given the opportunity to learn and provide care across a range of different learning environments (including remote, virtual and simulated practice environments) across health and care that will enable them to meet their learning outcomes and experience the variety of care situations for the diversity of individuals, communities and populations. We do not specify what constitutes a learning environment, but this should be agreed locally with AEIs and their practice learning partners
These environments could include a mix of people’s homes, community and hospital, and other independent, voluntary health and social care environments as relevant to the specific pre-registration nursing or nursing associate programme standards.
Learning environments can also include wider settings’ such as schools, care homes, day centres, nurseries nursing homes, prison wards, occupational workplace environments or working with the armed forces.
We do not specify what setting or premises constitutes a learning environment.
It will be up to the AEI, with practice learning partners, to decide which practice learning environments to use, and to be able to evidence that they meet our standards and that student and public safety is upheld.
Midwifery students should be given the learning opportunities to experience midwifery care for a diverse population and provide care across the across the maternity continuum in a range of different learning environments with a range of different maternity service providers and teams that will enable them to meet their learning outcomes.
These environments should be from across a range of people’s homes, in the community and hospital settings, including midwifery-led services as required to meet the pre-registration midwifery programme standards.
Practice learning can also include other environments where women require care by midwives such as mother and baby units in mental health or prison settings.
It will be up to the AEI, with practice learning partners, to decide which practice learning environment to use, provided our standards are met and public safety is upheld.
Students on post-registration education programmes should have opportunities to gain proficiency in their intended field of practice. Students on prescribing programmes must gain experience of practice-based learning in their field of prescribing practice. For instance, a children’s nurse on a V300 prescribing programme must have practice learning experiences relevant to children’s prescribing, if that is their intended field of prescribing practice. Similarly, a SCPHN occupational health nurse seeking to gain a prescribing qualification must have practice learning opportunities to occupational health nursing.
Practice experiences should be planned, bearing in mind the unique learning needs, requirements, confidence and competency of each student. At post-registration level, although they will at all times be supported by their practice supervisor, students will have experience of professional practice so they should be able to drive their own learning experience following self-reflective practice.
Students in post-registration education programmes (including prescribing) could be based in a variety of practice settings and experiences that go beyond conventional routes. There can be students who are self-employed and self-funded on these programmes, and they may want to and should be supported and encouraged to gain practice learning experiences in their sector. This can widen opportunities for sharing ideas and experiences across sectors and organisations. For instance, a student on a community SPQ in health and social care might want to gain experience at a border control health centre or a specialised community cancer centre; likewise, a privately funded student on a SCPHN OHN programme might want to gain practice in the occupational health services of a major infrastructure project.
Relevant NMC standards for this section
R1.2: prioritise the wellbeing of people promoting critical self-reflection and safe practice in accordance with the Code
S2.1: There are effective governance systems that ensure compliance with all legal, regulatory, professional and educational requirements, differentiating where appropriate between the devolved legislatures of the United Kingdom, with clear lines of responsibility and accountability for meeting those requirements and responding when standards are not met, in all learning environments.
S2.2: All learning environments optimise safety and quality, taking account of the diverse needs of, and working in partnership with, service users, students and all other stakeholders
R2.6: ensure that recruitment and selection of students is open, fair and transparent and includes measures to understand and address underrepresentation
R2.7: ensure that people who use services and representatives from relevant stakeholder groups are engaged in partnership in student recruitment and selection
R2.10: provide students with the information and support they require in all learning environments to enable them to understand and comply with relevant local and national governance processes and policies
R2.17: improve quality, manage risk and disseminate effective practice through the proactive seeking and appropriate sharing of information and data
S3.1: Students are provided with a variety of learning opportunities and appropriate resources which enable them to achieve proficiencies and programme outcomes and be capable of demonstrating the professional behaviours in the Code.
S3.2: Students are empowered and supported to become resilient, caring, reflective and lifelong learners who are capable of working in inter-professional and inter-agency teams.
R3.1: have access to the resources they need to achieve the proficiencies and programme outcomes required for their professional role
R3.2: are provided with timely and accurate information about curriculum, approaches to teaching, supervision, assessment, practice placements and other information relevant to their programme
R3.3: have opportunities throughout their programme to work with and learn from a range of people in a variety of practice placements, preparing them to provide care to people with diverse needs
R3.4: are enabled to learn and are assessed using a range of methods, including technology enhanced and simulation learning appropriate for their programme as necessary for safe and effective practice
R3.11: have their diverse needs respected and taken into account across all learning environments, with support and adjustments provided in accordance with equalities and human rights legislation and good practice
R3.12: are protected from discrimination, harassment and other behaviour that undermines their performance or confidence
R3.15: are well prepared for learning in theory and practice having received relevant inductions
R3.16: have opportunities throughout their programme to collaborate and learn with and from other professionals, to learn with and from peers, and to develop supervision and leadership skills
R3.17: receive constructive feedback throughout the programme from stakeholders with experience of the programme to promote and encourage reflective learning, and
R4.3: receive relevant induction, ongoing support and access to education and training which includes training in equality and diversity
R4.5: respond effectively to the learning needs of individuals
R4.9: receive and act upon constructive feedback from students and the people they engage with to enhance the effectiveness of their teaching, supervision and assessment
R5.9: adjustments are provided in accordance with relevant equalities and human rights legislation for assessments in theory and practice
1.9: learning experiences are inclusive and support the diverse needs of individual students
2.4 design and deliver a programme that supports students and provides exposure across all four fields of nursing practice: adult, mental health, learning disabilities and children’s nursing
2.5 state routes within their pre-registration nursing programme that allows students to enter the register in one or more of the specific fields of nursing practice: adult, mental health, learning disabilities or children’s nursing
2.6 set out the general and professional content necessary to meet the Standards of proficiency for registered nurses and programme outcomes
2.7 set out the content necessary to meet the programme outcomes for each field of nursing practice: adult, mental health, learning disabilities and children’s nursing
2.8 ensure that field-specific content in relation to the law, safeguarding, consent, pharmacology and medicines administration and optimisation is included for entry to the register in one or more fields of nursing practice
2.11 ensure that programmes delivered in Wales comply with legislation which supports use of the Welsh language
2.12 ensure that all pre-registration nursing programmes meet the equivalent of minimum length of three (academic) years for full time programmes, which consist of a minimum of 4,600 hours
2.13 ensure programmes leading to registration in two fields of nursing practice are of suitable length to ensure proficiency in both fields of nursing, and
2.14 ensure programmes leading to nursing registration and registration in another profession are of suitable length and nursing proficiencies and outcomes are achieved in a nursing context.
3.1 provide practice learning opportunities that allow students to develop and meet the Standards of proficiency for registered nurses to deliver safe and effective care to a diverse range of people across the four fields of nursing practice: adult, mental health,learning disabilities and children’s nursing
3.2 ensure that students experience the variety of practice expected of registered nurses to meet the holistic needs of people of all ages
3.3 provide practice learning opportunities that allow students to meet the communication and relationship management skills and nursing procedures, as set out in Standards of proficiency for registered nurses, within their selected fields of nursing practice: adult, mental health, learning disabilities and children’s nursing
3.4 provide no less than 2300 practice learning hours, of which a maximum of 600 hours can be in simulated practice learning
3.5 take account of students’ individual needs and personal circumstances when allocating their practice learning including making reasonable adjustments for students with disabilities
3.6 ensure students experience the range of hours expected of registered nurses, and
4.4 provide students with constructive feedback throughout the programme to support their development
4.5 ensure throughout the programme that students meet the Standards of proficiency for registered nurses and programme outcomes for their fields of nursing practice: adult, mental health, learning disabilities and children’s nursing
4.6 ensure that all programmes include a health numeracy assessment related to nursing proficiencies and calculation of medicines which must be passed with a score of 100 percent
4.7 ensure that students meet all communication and relationship management skills and nursing procedures within their fields of nursing practice: adult, mental health, learning disabilities and children’s nursing
4.8 assess students to confirm proficiency in preparation for professional practice as a registered nurse
3.3: ensure that students work in partnership with the education provider and their practice learning partners to arrange supervision and assessment that complies with the NMC Standards for student supervision and assessment.
4.8: assess the student’s suitability for award based on the successful completion of a period of practice based learning relevant to their field of prescribing practice
3.1 provide practice learning opportunities that allow students to develop and meet the Standards of proficiency for nursing associates to deliver safe and effective care to a diverse range of people across the lifespan and in a variety of settings4
3.2 ensure that students experience the variety of practice expected of nursing associates to meet the holistic needs of people of all ages
3.3 take account of students’ individual needs and personal circumstances when allocating their practice learning including making reasonable adjustments for students with disabilities, and
3.4 ensure that nursing associate students have protected learning time5 in line with one of the following two options:
3.4.1 Option A: nursing associate students are supernumerary when they are learning in practice
3.4.2 Option B: nursing associate students, via work-placed learning routes:
18.104.22.168 are released for a minimum of 20 per cent of the programme for academic study6
22.214.171.124 are released for a minimum of 20 per cent of the programme time, which is assured protected learning time in external practice placements, enabling them to develop the breadth of experience required for a generic role, and
126.96.36.199 for the remainder of the required programme hours, protected learning time must be assured.
4: Nursing associate students are not required to have placements in each field of nursing, but should, through their education programme, benefit from experience of children and adults, and people who use services /patients with mental health conditions and learning disabilities, and understand the most significant factors to be aware of when providing care to different people who use services
5: Protected learning time is designated time in which students are supported to learn. All students are appropriately supervised until they have demonstrated proficiency in aspects of care. Supernumerary status is one approach to protected learning time
6: The 20 percent specified here is not the total sum of theoretical learning students will need to undertake, please see standard 2.7 which requires equal weighting of theory and practice in the curriculum.
3.6 ensure learning experiences are tailored to the student’s stage of learning, proficiencies and programme outcomes culminating in a period of practice learning. This is dependent on the individual learning needs of the student to demonstrate overall proficiency and achieve the programme learning outcomes for their:
3.6.1 intended field of SCPHN practice, SCPHN PHN practice or,
3.6.2 their intended field of community nursing SPQ practice or community nursing SPQ in health and social care practice.