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Can Nurses in non-NHS settings undertake the Specialist community public health nursing qualification?

Our colleagues from the National Forum of School Health Educators respond:

The new NMC standards for post-registration mean all newly approved programmes must now provide opportunities that enable eligible NMC registered nurses/midwives, including non-NHS, self-employed or self-funded applicants to apply for entry. Which is a positive first step. 

We understand though, that there will not be many people who will/can self-fund. Those who are unable and cannot get employer funding may be able to undertake an apprenticeship, but this means the employer must be registered by the NMC as an employer by the relevant HEI (it is a fairly simple process) and the employer must draw down the levy if they wish and are able. There is an additional cost here though for employers, as back-fill has to generally be sought.  

In the instance of those HV SCPHNs who wish to transfer their field of practice, this does not exist anymore as SCPHNs are not able to have more than one annotation on the SCPHN part of the register. Some AEIs (like us at BNU!) still offer an option to study a module or short course to support any SCPHN who intends to practise in another field. However, this does not lead to an additional SCPHN qualification and the NMC does not approve these courses. 

In addition, all student SCPHNs (whether undergoing the full SCPHN course or module/short course), must be supervised and assessed in practice by appropriate practice supervisors and assessors – often in non-NHS/healthcare organisations, this is difficult to facilitate. 

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