The Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) and Queen’s Nursing Institute Scotland (QNIS) have worked together with leading experts from across the UK to develop a set of voluntary standards to support Community Children’s Nurse education and practice across the four UK countries.

These draft standards have been developed based on the findings from a literature review, surveys of universities offering CCN Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) approved Specialist Practice Qualification (SPQ) programmes and a range of face to face focus and online groups in all four UK countries, as well as visits to CCNs in practice. The project has been overseen by an advisory group including expert community children’s nurses and key stakeholders.

All CCN courses leading to a recordable SPQ must meet the NMC standards for specialist education and practice. However these standards have not been updated since 1994 and community children’s nursing services and practice has developed substantially since the standards were originally set, and new standards were needed that reflect contemporary practice. The term voluntary standards was agreed in order to differentiate the QNI/QNIS standards from regulatory or mandatory standards, such as those set by the NMC.

The draft standards have been written to reflect the expectations in practice following completion of an NMC approved course, i.e. what children’s nurses qualifying as a CCN should be able to do in practice.

Community Children’s Nursing is complex and in speaking to many community children’s nurses, it has become apparent that no two CCN services are the same. However, strategies in all four UK countries identify the need for services concerned with enabling children, many of whom have very complex conditions and nursing needs, to be managed and supported at home and to avoid hospital admission wherever possible.

It is recognised that the voluntary sector provides some services that enhance community children’s nursing. This may include voluntary funded specific roles, such as Well Child nurses or care from children’s hospices. Another characteristic of CCN services is the need to collaborate with a wide range of other services that are required to support the child or young person to reach their full potential. This may include social services, education, charities as well as specialist health services. Much of the role is supporting the family to learn to care for the child in their own home and be confident in recognising changes in health status and instigating appropriate action.

This consultation asks you to read the standards below, which follow the domains of the Advanced Practice Toolkit that is incorporated into advanced practice documents in all four UK countries . The standards have made the assumption that any student entering a CCN SPQ programme will already have a good body of clinical expertise either gained in the community or in the acute setting. It leaves open the complex issue of prescribing, as feedback from practitioners indicated an equal split between those who felt independent prescribing should be an integral part of the course and those who felt this should be completed following the course. Standard 1.13 identifies that CCNs should be able to prescribe within their scope of competence, which leaves it open for local areas to decide if this is something required.

Please open and review the PDF document below and then answer a short survey. The purpose of this consultation is to identify if all the key areas are covered, or if a major area has been omitted. The survey is not concerned with changing words or grammar, as the standards are subject to further editorial review. We want to know if you think these standards reflect the contemporary practice of CCNs and incorporate key influences that may impact on the service in the next 5 years.

Thank you for taking the time to give us feedback. Please forward this to your colleagues and professional networks so that the consultation reaches as many people as possible.

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