NMC removes cap on hours student nurses can complete in simulated practice

The Nursing and Midwifery Council has announced it will lift the cap on simulated training for student nurses.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has announced it has removed the hard cap on the number of clinical hours, which is currently set at 300 hours, student nurses can instead complete in simulated practice.

Initially, the regulator said it wanted to raise the cap to 1,150 hours but critics raised concerns about the reduction in time on clinical placements.

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The results of the consultation showed that a significant proportion of respondents wanted there to continue to be a cap as many showed concern it would reduce the total number of hours completed on clinical placements.

Instead, the NMC has not specified a cap but warned that they would be monitoring universities use of simulation.

The NMC says this flexible approach aligns with other UK healthcare regulators.

An NMC spokesperson told the NursingTimes“We will no longer state a maximum number for hours of simulation to be included in educational programmes for pre-registration nursing.

“Our new approach is to be less prescriptive and more outcome-focused, allowing autonomy to enhance and develop forms and uses of simulation for learning and assessment that facilitate safe and effective care,”

“However, we will monitor and ensure that the type of simulation, and how it is applied, is appropriate to meet the learning outcomes of our standards through our educational quality assurance process,”

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