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Guidance on making the most of student nurses in social care



Social care employers are being offered first-time guidance on how to make the most of their student nurse placements, in a bid to boost recruitment to the sector.

Skills for Care has published the document, with funding from Health Education England, to outline the education and experience nursing students can gain from a placement, and how employers can match placements to the nursing curriculum.

It also aims to encourage education providers to promote social care placements.

It comes after social care providers told Nursing in Practice this month that more placements could boost recruitment to the sector. And last week, Skills for Care figures showed a 5% fall in the number of registered nurses working in adult social care in England last year.

Oonagh Smyth, CEO of Skills for Care said the guidance will ‘make a real difference in getting more student nurses to do their placement in social care’.

She continued: ‘At Skills for Care we know that nurses who work in social care find the roles rewarding. They need to be adaptable, flexible, and committed to providing excellent person-centred care where they can build deep relationships as well as supporting people’s clinical needs.’

‘We will continue to support the social care nursing workforce by doing everything we can to show student nurses why they should all want to come and work in social care,’ she added.

The guidance also includes an introduction to what social care is, case studies of how student nurse placements can work in different settings, and ‘real insights’ of what the people who student nurses support want them to know, said Skills for Care.

It features ten templates outlining how a student nurse placement can work in different social care settings home care, day care and various residential care settings.

This comes amid concerns about recruitment and retention in the sector. Making Covid-19 jabs mandatory for care home staff from 11 November is also already worsening staff shortages, unions have warned.