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University launches ‘first-of-its-kind’ adult social care SPQ

University launches ‘first-of-its-kind’ adult social care SPQ

Northumbria University has been approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) to offer a new Specialist Practice Qualification (SPQ) in community nursing and adult social care.

The qualification will be available to registered nurses in September and offers the four separate pathways of: general practice nursing (GPN); district nursing; adult social care nursing; and community children’s nursing.

It is understood that the adult social care nursing pathway is ‘the first-of-its-kind’.

Meanwhile, the GPN pathway is new to the university and is said to prepare practice nurses to ‘work autonomously, addressing the complexities in prevention of ill health and promotion of wellbeing’.

‘This is new for us,’ said Professor Kevin Murphy, assistant professor in adult nursing at Northumbria University. ‘Many universities do not run a GPN route anymore, but we have newly added it to our delivery.’

The course will be provided via an apprenticeship route or direct entry to registered nurses on both a full-time (one year) or part-time (two years) basis.

And it is mapped to the Queen’s Nursing Institute’s (QNI’s) new SPQ standards.

Professor Murphy said: ‘We have also endorsed (pending) each pathway with the QNI, recognising the unique skills and knowledge required for each specialist pathway.’

Professor Murphy added that the adult social care pathway is ‘the first-of-its-kind’.

He said: ‘Due to local and regional employer demand and the wealth of expertise available at the university, we agreed that the development of this pathway would be of significant value to patients, families and carers as well as employing partners and agencies.

‘Other universities are also approving this pathway, although limited across the UK. However, we were the first to be approved in the country for this pathway.’

According to the university, the social care pathway will benefit nurses working across care homes by ‘providing specialist knowledge, skills, and attributes’.

‘These will be valued and provide assurance of expertise and provision of high-level complex care for residents and families and owners/operators of nursing and residential homes of all sizes,’ it added.

Leanne Hume, northern region lead nurse independent health and social care for the Royal College of Nursing, said: ‘The launch of Northumbria University’s SPQ in adult social care gives recognition to the unique demands and complexities of this vital nursing field.

‘By offering tailored education and career progression opportunities, it elevates the skills and profile of adult social care nurses whilst addressing the growing needs of our population.’

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