NMC announcement of a new recovery standard to enable greater flexibility to use simulation in nursing education

18 February 2021

The Council of Deans of Health welcomes today’s announcement by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) of a new recovery standard to enable greater flexibility to use simulation in nursing education. This will allow students to undertake up to 300 practice hours in simulated environments, including via virtual and digital learning.

Professor Brian Webster-Henderson, Chair of the Council, commented:

“We welcome increased regulatory flexibility and the use of simulation in practice hours. This would enable the development of new placement opportunities, encourage innovative learning and ease placement capacity pressure to support growth in student numbers. We know many of our members will welcome this flexibility and are ready to deliver high quality education using simulation”.

Dr Katerina Kolyva, Executive Director of the Council, said:

“This news is particularly significant today, when UCAS data shows a record number of applicants to nursing programmes. However, to take full advantage of increased student applications and this regulatory development, universities will require investment in new simulated and virtual placement opportunities, technology, infrastructure, and the academic workforce. The forthcoming Budget provides an opportunity for the Government to invest in healthcare higher education and secure the future healthcare workforce.

“Simulation is also a key issue in the current review of the EU Directive. We will continue to work closely with our members, the NMC and other stakeholders on the future minimum education requirements for nursing and midwifery, including the role of simulated practice”.

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