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Community Practitioners' and Health Visitors' Association

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Professional Officer - Vacancy Filled

This page provides information about health visiting and community nursing education. For more detailed information on courses go to:
Further Education and Careers
in Health Visiting and Public Health Nursing


For further advice prior to interview for courses or sponsorship contact CPHVA Education Department, on 207 939 7055. The CPHVA can also provide an interview pack of suggested reading for a charge of £17.50. Contact our Information Resources department on the same number.

Pre-registration Nurse Education

Health Visitor Training and Sponsorship

Nurse Education

Post- Registration Education and Practice

Returning to Practice

PPP Foundation - Mid-Career Awards

Interview Pack

Core Reading List for Health Visiting and References supporting maintenance and development of health visiting

Grants and Bursaries




Further Education and Careers in Health Visiting and Public Health Nursing


Pre-registration Nurse Education
In order to become a health visitor you need to first qualify as a nurse. Any branch of a Project 2000 nursing course is accepted as an entry to health visiting. Normally you would be expected to consolidate your training through a period of work as a nurse before you apply for health visitor training.
Information regarding nurse training can be obtained from the NHS careers service - tel: 0845 60 60 655. Normally entry to nurse training requires the equivalent of education to 'A' level standard. Advanced courses in Health and Social Care are also appropriate. There are some university courses for nursing which integrate first level nurse qualification with a community nursing qualification (usually district nursing or health visiting). Information and application packs for nursing diplomas can be obtained from:

PO Box 28, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL52 3ZA.
Tel: 01242 227788

Entry requirements vary but normally 2 or 3 'A' levels, or equivalent are required. After obtaining a nursing qualification, the health visiting course is a further academic year on a higher education course.

NMC - Standards of Profieciency for Pre-Registration Nursing Students


Health Visitor Training and Sponsorship

  • In order to undertake a course leading to the registerable qualification of Health Visitor you have to:
  • Be a registered first level nurse This includes all forms of RGN qualification and qualifications from any of the four branches of a Project 2000 Diploma course. Midwives qualified through direct entry courses are also eligible.

  • Be at diploma level and hold 120 Credit Accumulation and Transfer (CAT) points at level 2.
  • Usually have 1-2 years consolidation of previous nurse training.

In order to train as a health visitor you have to secure a place on a course and sponsorship from a community health trusts. A complete and up to date list of courses is available from:

PO Box 376, Bristol, BS99 3EY
Telephone: 0845 60 60 655 (24 hours) Fax: 0117 921 9562
E-mail: advice@nhscareers.nhs.uk

Sponsorship or secondment is at present organised at a local level and you should apply to one or more of the community trusts in which you wish to work. A list of trusts can be found in the Hospital and Social Services Year Book available in local or hospital libraries. Some areas have specific contracts with particular colleges so you need to find this out before securing a college place. Sponsorships are usually decided between January and April - again full information should be available if you enquire locally. Sponsorships are also advertised in the Nursing Press for example community section of Nursing Times.

Sponsored students receive their course fees and a salary. Usually this is minimum of an E grade. Some areas also offer allowances for books travel etc. Holiday entitlement is in line with Whitley scale but there is no flexibility as to when this can be taken during the course.

Some students have decided to fund themselves or obtain local authority education grants to undertake courses. There are often hidden costs and difficulties involved in this approach especially when trying to secure a placement for supervised practice and practice assessment at the end of the course. People who take this way are advised to talk to course leaders about possible pitfalls and how they may be overcome.

From September 2002, Health Visitor courses will be following the new NMC standards which is a competency based public health curriculum.

All health visiting courses are at degree level, some offering post graduate certificate with some additional work. Therefore prospective students will either need a diploma or be able to demonstrate through their experience or other studies that they will be able to undertake a course on degree level. Some colleges offer access modules either to obtain diploma level or to access from other nursing disciplines e.g. mental health nursing.

Competition for sponsorship is always very great in the last year or so. This is mainly due to the cutbacks in money available to trusts and regions. If you apply for sponsorship you generally need to have consolidated any previous training for at least a year. Experience in a community setting is useful but not essential. However, there are an increasing number of opportunities for staff nurse posts in the community you might wish to explore or roles which involve some degree of liaison. Prospective students will need to demonstrate a broad approach to health and health needs and good communication skills. It is essential to keep up to date in whatever field you are working in and show an awareness of changes in policy and how that may affect future provision of services.

Undertaking additional study in sociology, social policy, health promotion research, psychology or counselling or relevant subject of your interest may all help prepare you. Your local college of health studies may offer modules of study you could undertake on a part time basis or open learning modules from the open university. Other experiences outside paid work or prior to your nurse training may also be relevant to work in the community.


Nurse Education

These courses are also at degree level and are run alongside health visitor courses or other specialist community practice courses with joint learning and specialist modules 50% of the course is in practice.

These courses are at degree level and require applicants to be at diploma level on entry. All applicants have to have a first level qualification i.e. RGN or one of the branch programmes.

  • For School Nursing all branch programmes are acceptable

  • For Practice nursing Adult and Children’s branch diplomates are eligible

  • For District Nursing Adult branch diplomates are eligible

Sponsorship for these courses varies in different localities and may be through Community Trusts or in the case of Practice Nursing through Special Health Authorities. Often there are more opportunities for part time course in these areas and for undertaking study while working in an appropriate team. However all courses are the equivalent of an academic year It is advisable to find out locally the system in operation.



Post-Registration Education and Practice

  • The Chief Nursing Officer’s review of the nursing, midwifery and health visiting contribution to vulnerable children and young people - August 2004

  • Diploma and MSc in Social Learning Theory - Multi-disciplinary course in two stages (Diploma/MSc). Further information
  • The NSPCC EduCare Child Protection Awareness In Health programme costs £22.50 per participant and is available by writing to EduCare, PO Box 3261, Leamington Spa CV32 5RS, call 01926 432 219. For inforamtion about NSPCC professional development training, contact Gillian Weston at the training centre on 0116 234 7225.

  • The PPP Foundation/University Research Training Fellowships in Nursing, Midwifery, Health Visiting and the Allied Health Professions. New research opportunities open to nurses, midwives, health visitors and the allied professions. The Consortium for Healthcare Research is offering full-time, three year doctoral and postdoctoral research fellowships funded by the PPP Foundation. Research proposals should seek to improve patient care to help health professionals working on the NHS frontline. Applications are invited now for four doctoral and two postdoctoral fellowships, due to start in September 2003. Closing date for applications is 3 February 2003. Further particulars and an application form can be downloaded from www.city.ac.uk/hr/jobs or by sending a large (A4) SAE (41p) to Matt Beattie, Senior HR Assistant, HR Department, City University, Northampton Square, London, EC1V OHB.



NMC Consultation on third part of the new register: specialist community public health nursing : Final Report [Competency Framwork]

Standards of Proficiency for Specialist Community Public Health Nurses - August 2004

Standards for Specialist Education and Practice - April 2001



CPHVA E-Learning Project and Presentation
Gail Wilson, LIS ETD Training Co-ordinator, South and West Devon Health Community

BIOME/NMAP/The RDN Virtual Training Suite : "The Internet for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting - A FREE "teach yourself" tutorial on the Web, for nurses, midwives and health visitors



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