Supporting Community Placements, and NMC Guidance on Simulated Learning Hours

October 21 2020

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In July 2020 a Community Learning Experience Task and Finish Group was developed to look at healthcare students returning safely into community settings following a reduction of capacity in response to Covid-19.

There have been several challenges impacting on recovery plans; social distancing, car sharing and lack of communication technology, which require solutions if community placements are to contribute to the urgent requirement for student capacity. In support of opening community learning experiences, the community group have produced 5 General Principles which PEFs, Assessors and Supervisors can utilise to support the recovery of community learning experiences.

Please click here to download the Toolkit regarding supporting Community Placements during and Post-Covid.


Additionally, please see below for guidance around simulated learning, from Sue West at the NMC:

From Sue West, Senior Nursing Education Advisor, NMC

AEIs have the flexibility to reorganise their practice learning environments to suit the student experience and obviously the current circumstances, as long as they continue to meet our standards and enable students to achieve all their learning outcomes and standards of proficiency. This also includes the 2,300 hours. Where they may wish to replace some practice learning hours with simulated learning, they need to ensure that such learning meets the EU directive for practice learning. We have a FAQ on our website on Covid-19 page that covers this, which states that:

Practice learning may be undertaken through simulated learning up to 300 hours (pre-registration nursing education, 2010) or in a proportionate way (standards for pre-registration nursing programmes, 2018). Approved education institutions must ensure that simulated experiences involve direct contact with a healthy or sick individual and/or community for adult nursing to comply with Article 31(5) of Directive 2005/36/EC. Any change to the programme by way of using simulated learning and how this meets the standards for practice learning can be articulated using the Covide-19 exception reporting form.