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Skills for Care publishes nursing in social care guidance

Skills for Care has published new guidance to support the development of social care nursing placement opportunities.

The guidance was published in collaboration with the Department of Health and Social Care and Deborah Sturdy, chief nurse for social care.

It can be used by employers, practice assessors, and practice supervisors who are responsible for assessing and providing learning opportunities for student nurses and nursing associates across the adult social care sector. It covers the practicalities of how organisations can host student nurse placements and the advantages for organisations of doing so.

The guidance also includes insights from universities and care providers about the importance of social care nursing placements in developing nursing professionals as a valued part of pre-registration nursing programmes and ultimately the provision of high-quality care for people who draw on care and support across the health and care system.

There is an increasing demand for social care nursing professionals, and the provision of effective social care placements for student nurses and nursing associates is vital in attracting and growing the future social care nursing workforce.

Skills for Care’s latest data shows that in 2022/23, there were an estimated 33,000 registered nurse filled posts in the adult social care sector. In addition to registered nurses, in 2022/23 there were 750 registered nursing associate filled posts. The vacancy rate for registered nurses was 11.3 per cent.

Deborah Sturdy, chief nurse for adult social care, said: “Lived experience is critical to understanding what it means to be a social care nurse and taking full advantage of the opportunities offered by this amazing profession.

“Undergraduate placements, across a variety of care settings, are the best way to create the next generation of social care nurses and nursing associates, equipped with the skills, knowledge, and intuition to deliver exceptional care.”

 Claire Leenhouwers, national professional lead – nursing, Skills for Care, commented: “Social care nursing placements are something I’ve been passionate about for a long time.

“Whilst we recognise the challenges for smaller social care organisations compared to setting up placements in larger providers and NHS Trusts, there are real opportunities for quality practice placement experiences that meet the needs of students and the providers. This will ensure a future nursing profession that has the skills and experience to work across a system to meet support expectations for care.

“At Skills for Care, we’re committed to ensuring social care nursing placements are recognised and valued for the wealth of opportunities they offer students and staff, as learning is a two-way process.”

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Upcoming Events

Care Show London

ExCel, London
24 April 2024 - 25 April 2024

Future of Care Leaders Conference

The King’s Fund, London
Tuesday 30th April 2024

Care Roadshows - Liverpool

Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool
14th May 2024

Care Roadshows - Birmingham

Villa Park Stadium, Birmingham
16th May 2024

Care Home Awards

Royal Garden Hotel, London, W8 4PT
17th May 2024

Care & Occupational Therapy Show 2024

Westpoint Arena, Exeter
Wednesday 17th July 2024

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