Learning in practice

As a student nurse half of your programme of study is based in practice or work-based learning. You must be supported to learn in practice and undertake a minimum of 2300 hours of supernumerary practice. Supernumerary means you should not be counted as part of the staffing required to deliver safe and effective care in that setting.

You should be given the opportunity to learn and provide care across a range of different learning environments to enable you to meet learning outcomes and experience a variety of care situations, working with patients, service users and carers across the lifespan, in acute and community settings.

Each of the three stages of the programme are comprised of 770 hours of supernumerary practice, split into three practice learning periods (nine in total). In each stage of the programme you will usually undertake one practice placement in your normal place of work and the other two practice placements will be in external practice settings, in a range of care contexts and service user groups.

As a student nurse in practice-based learning or placements, you will progress in your competence.

In stage one of the programme, you will be expected to demonstrate guided participation in care, performing with increasing confidence and competence.  In stage two we expect you to become more competent in your abilities through active participation in care with minimal guidance and performing with increased confidence and competence. By the end of stage three, you will be able to demonstrate your ability to achieve the NMC's 2018 generic and field specific proficiencies and be regarded as eligible for registration with the NMC.

Read more about the number of theory and practice hours in the NMC curriculum hours section.