Performance indicators and changing patterns of accountability in nurse education

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In this chapter I wish to show some of the ways in which questions of accountability relate to discussions about how to develop performance indicators (PIs) for nurse training institutions. The evidence I draw upon is derived from material gathered over a two-year period of research for the English National Board for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting (ENB), which commissioned Alan Beattie to direct a project on the subject at the University of London Institute of Education. The aim of this research was to explore the feasibility of developing PIs for nurse (and midwife) training institutions. The account I give of this research is intended to show how the initial findings led to further work on implementation issues, and finally to a series of recommendations for the ENB to consider in formulating policy. Accordingly, the views in this section of the chapter are presented as the collective views of the research team and termed as such.