Excellence Network learning hub launches with first learning pathway for Parkinson's nurse specialists


The Excellence Network launches the first in a series of new learning pathways, starting with one developed specifically for Parkinson's nurse specialists (PNS). 

More learning pathways will be added to the new Excellence Network learning hub later in 2018.

What is a learning pathway?

A learning pathway is a carefully planned route through a programme of learning. It gathers content together into 1 place and acts as a roadmap, guiding learners on how they should progress.

Learning pathways are generally hosted online, and while they do cover eLearning content, they can also include face-to-face and longer certificated study programmes too, which are included in the PNS pathway.

In essence, pathways provide a way to group and categorise learning to offer customised pathways for specific groups of learners.

For example, we can offer a Parkinson's nurse specialist a completely different learning pathway from that of a physiotherapist or care assistant.

How does the Parkinson’s disease nurse specialist pathway work?

All learning on the Parkinson's nurse specialist  pathway is mapped to the Parkinson's nurse specialist competencies and broadly to the NHS knowledge and skills framework. 

This mapping means that all learning on the pathway meets the requirements for use in revalidation and appraisals and should make it easier for nurses to obtain study leave.

As well as being customised by professional discipline, the pathway is also categorised by NHS bands 5 to 8, and allows a PNS to choose from clinical, non-clinical topics or other learning which may be interesting but not mapped to competencies. 

This flexibility means a PNS can follow a pathway which will meet professional and individual learning needs.

Louise Ebenezer, Clinical Nurse Specialist for Parkinson's and Vice Chair of the Parkinson's Disease Nurse Specialist Association, was involved in creating the pathway. She says:

"The learning pathway should help both new and experienced nurses involved in the management of Parkinson's develop their unique learning needs.

"The pathway is a live document which needs to be kept up to date to enable nurses to further evolve their knowledge and skills.

"It ensures that when a nurse comes into post they will be able to access relevant courses to develop their role. I feel this is an exciting future for education and learning."

We need your help

The pathway is a live document and so we need to know about suitable learning for Parkinson's nurses, wherever it is happening across the UK, so we can grow the pathway and keep it relevant and current.

If you are a Parkinson's nurse specialist please tell us about learning you have found helpful at education3@parkinsons.org.uk.

What's next?

During 2018 the Excellence Network will launch 2 further learning pathways:

  • An allied health professionals pathway in June (initially for physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech and language therapists)
  • A non-specialist health and care staff pathway in November.  

Please visit our newly updated learning hub for more information on how to register for the pathways and find out about who we collaborate with, the impact of our learning on professional practice, and the difference it makes for people affected by Parkinson's.