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Good health and character as a student

Information on good health and character as a student nurse, midwife or nursing associate

When you come to register with us as a nurse, midwife or nursing associate, you’ll need to declare that your health and character are sufficiently good to enable you to practise safely and effectively.

Declaring that you have a disability or a health condition, or pending charges, a conviction or a caution will not necessarily prevent you from entering an education programme, registering as a nurse or midwife, or from continuing your career.

However, you may need to seek advice about whether you can be adequately supported to provide safe and effective practice without direct supervision.

Declaring a health condition or disability

If you declare a health condition or disability to your education institution, you should be assessed, where appropriate, and given support from the occupational health department, a disability services team, adviser or other medical practitioner.

Any assessment relating to disability should focus on what reasonable adjustments can be made to support you to enter and remain on our register.

You may want to tell your personal tutor about your health condition or disability. They’ll be able to help you in getting the necessary support you may need both in the academic environment and when learning in a practice placement.

While having an illness will not prevent you from registering with us, it is up to the occupational health department and you employer to perform a risk analysis and put any special measures in place if needed.

As a student, you are responsible for informing your education institution  immediately if you develop a health condition or disability that may affect your ability to practise safely and effectively. This is so that your fitness to remain on the programme can be reassessed. You will be required to declare your good health annually during the course of your programme.

Declaring pending charges or a conviction or caution

If you receive pending charges or a conviction or caution that may impact on your good character during your pre-registration programme, you must notify your education institution immediately.

Local fitness to practise panels

All programme providers are required to have a local fitness to practise panel to consider health or character issues, and to make sure that public protection is maintained.

You may be referred to a local fitness to practise panel if:

  • your attitude or behaviour is such that it is calls into question your good character
  • your health or disability is likely to compromise or has compromised your ability to meet the required competencies and practise safely without direct supervision

In both instances, the panel will meet to make a decision about your suitability to remain on the programme.

Professional conduct

Members of the public cannot always see the difference between a student nurse, midwife or nursing associate, and someone who is qualified and registered with the NMC.

That is why your conduct is important in upholding the reputation of the professions, both when you are studying and in your personal life.

You should make sure you conduct is in line with our standards and guidance.