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University of Hull leads development of support and retention framework for nurses

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A University of Hull academic has led the development of the new nursing framework designed to provide support and improve retention of the workforce in the NHS.

The National Preceptorship Framework, designed to support nurses, nursing associates, international registrants and those returning to nursing practice, as well as overall staff experience, was launched by the chief nursing officer (CNO) for England, Ruth May last month.

Dr Jane Wray, Senior Lecturer in Nursing in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Hull, and Senior Clinical Nurse Advisor for the project, worked with seven regional preceptorship leads and their communities of practice to design the framework.

Through partnership working with new registrants and the organisations and professional groups that support them, the project has brought people together to learn from and share best practice.

Dr Wray: “Preceptorship is a formal programme of structured support offered to newly registered practitioners during their first year in their new jobs and is central to the retention of nursing colleagues.

“Supporting them to translate their knowledge and skills into practice, to have the best possible start to life as a practitioner, grows their confidence and their nursing career in the direction that they would like.”

This publication sets national standards for preceptorship for nurses and establishes a framework for good practice for adoption across all regions in England.

In addition to the framework and model, the team have developed a suite of resources to support implementation across the sector, including standard documentation, role descriptors, a business case and training resources.

Dr Wray: “By providing clear guidance and the resources necessary to support organisations to deliver high quality preceptorship, I want to drive up standards and ultimately, improve the experience of those in receipt of preceptorship.

This is key to retention and ensuring that our future workforce feel valued, confident and supported.

“Preceptorship is no longer a ‘nice to have’ for organisations, it’s an essential – and that has been recognised with the publication of the new framework.

We will continue to work with our communities of practice over the coming months to address barriers to implementation. A quality mark for preceptorship will be available later this year.”

The framework, together with the National Preceptorship Model, is part of a focused approach to retention, which also includes the delivery of other high impact actions such as a nursing and midwifery retention self-assessment tool, hosted on the NHS England website.

Earlier this year, Dr Wray, was named a national nursing hero by the Burdett Trust for Nursing for her exceptional and long lasting contributions to the profession.

The award celebrated Dr Wray’s transformative work in supporting early-career nurses to help tackle the recruitment and retention crisis in the nursing sector.

Impressively, Dr Wray also led the Supporting the Transition and Retention of Newly Qualified Nurses (STaR) project which supported newly registered nurses during their first year as they transition from student to autonomous practitioner – and developed a transition toolkit to support nurses in this stage of their career.

Dr Wray’s work in leading the STaR project was instrumental in her securing the role of Senior Clinical Nurse Advisor to NHSE for the National Preceptorship Project for England.

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