The COVID-19 pandemic raised the profile of complex care delivered at home by district nursing teams which kept people out of hospital (Green et al, 2020). District nursing remains core to healthcare delivery across the UK, which continues to focus on keeping people out of hospital by offering care closer to home. It is within this context that the Nursing and Midwifery Council's (NMC's) Standards for Post-Registration provide an opportunity for forward thinking and innovative programmes of education. These will ensure the district nurses of the future can meet the varied and complex needs of the individuals and local communities they will serve.
The Part 3 NMC Standards for Post-Registration Programmes (2023a) and the Standards of Proficiency for Community Nursing Specialist Practice Qualifications (SPQ) (NMC, 2023b) were initially published in 2022, following extensive stakeholder consultation. The Part 3 NMC Standards are supported by Part 1: Standards Framework for Nursing and Midwifery Education (2023c) and Part 2: Standards for Student Supervision and Assessment (NMC, 2023d). Parts 1 and 2 were both updated in 2023 following the UK's departure from the EU. The district nurse (DN) SPQ programmes have been developed to reflect the changes in healthcare delivery since the previous standards were published. The opportunity these standards provide for rethinking preparation of the DN SPQ of the future should be grasped.
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