Skills for Care

A student nurse or nursing associate will experience a range of placements as part of their academic programme. Social care offers a fantastic opportunity for learning and can support development of nursing professions in person-centred practice and professional autonomy. 

The following resources develop understanding of nursing placements within social care settings, and may be particularly relevant to employers, students and the education provider.

NEW GUIDANCE: Developing nursing placement opportunities in social care

Social care nursing placements offer a wealth of opportunities with employers and practice learning partners playing a key role in supporting students to reach their full potential in developing their knowledge and skills within the learning environment.

With an ongoing demand for nurses and nursing associates within the sector there is a need to increase placement capacity. This guidance is aimed at employers and those considering hosting students to help them navigate the process of linking in with higher education institutions and highlights the benefits that there are for employers in hosting students.

It’s been developed in collaboration with:

  • higher education institutions nationally
  • student nurses and nursing associates
  • employers who are already hosting students
  • regional integrated care boards
  • Nursing and Midwifery Council and partner agencies who are committed to increasing placement capacity within social care.

View the guidance


An open letter to Higher Education Institutions

From Ed Hughes, CEO, Council of Deans of Health and Oonagh Smyth, CEO, Skills for Care.

To support this new guidance Skills for Care and the Council of Deans of Health have written an open letter to Higher Education Institutes highlighting the value of social care nursing placements and the social care learning environment.

View the letter


PDF - 1.89Mb

Supporting the understanding of nursing placements within social care. This guide is aimed at social care employers, student nurses and higher education providers.

Skills for Care in consultation with Nursing and Midwifery Council, Royal College of Nursing, Queens Nursing Institute and Registered Nursing Home Association have developed the following guidance to support and clarify social care practice experience opportunities within the sector.


PDF - 119KB
Guidance indemnity insurance and clinical negligence cover for nursing placements in social care.


Ten social care settings

The descriptions introduce what can be offered within this type of placement setting. Each description has been mapped to the future nurse standards of proficiency so that student nurses can see how the experience they gain in these settings correlates with their learning.

Download each individual social care seting:

  1. Children's residential service
  2. Community care services for adults and children (home care services/domiciliary care services)
  3. Day care services
  4. Registered care home with nursing for working age people with enduring mental health problems
  5. Registered care home with nursing, learning disabilities and complex health needs: working age
  6. Registered care home with nursing, physical and mental health, dementia and end of life care
  7. Registered care home without nursing, learning disabilities and autism
  8. Residential care home with nursing neurological disabilities and rehabilitation 
  9. Residential care home without nursing for elderly people including dementia and end of life care
  10. Specialist residential college for the training and development of young people with learning difficulties and disabilities