Our role in education

We set standards of education, training, conduct and performance for nurses and midwives in the UK and nursing associates in England

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Our role in education

We want to make sure that nurses, midwives and nursing associates are consistently educated to a high standard, so that they are able to deliver safe and effective care at the point of entry to the register and throughout their careers. We also want to make sure that patients, service users and the public have a clear understanding of what nurses, midwives and nursing associates know and are competent to do.

We are committed to developing our education requirements to ensure that nurses, midwives and nursing associates are equipped with the skills and knowledge they need to practise now and in the future. Find out more about the work we are doing to develop our education requirements.

What we do

  • We set education standards, which shape the content and design of programmes and state the competences of a nurse, midwife or nursing associate.
  • We approve education institutions and programmes and maintain a database of approved programmes (courses).
  • We deliver quality assurance of our approved programmes.
  • We register nurses, midwives and nursing associates when they have successfully completed their courses.
  • We assess and ensure the quality of practice placements for students.

What we don't do

  • We don't educate or select students. This is done by the approved education institutions (AEIs) and practice partners in line with our standards.
  • We don't set curricula. This is done by the AEIs and practice partners in line with our standards.
  • We don't regulate students. If there are concerns about a student, this is dealt with by the AEI.
  • We don't assess the ability of practice settings to support students' learning. This is done by AEIs.
  • We don't assess the quality of care in hospitals or the community. This is the responsibility of other regulators: the Care Quality Commission in England, Healthcare Improvement Scotland, Healthcare Inspectorate Wales and Northern Ireland's Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority.

Video resources

Your journey, our role is aimed at students as they start their education. It focuses on introducing them to the NMC’s role in their student journey to help them become the best nurse, midwife or nursing associate they can be.

Getting the best out of your education is aimed at students about to start their first placement. It focuses on preparing for their placement, our Standards for Student Supervision and Assessment (SSSA), and how to look after themselves during their placement.

Finishing your programme – what's next? is aimed at those who’ll soon be finishing their studies. It covers what students need to know as they prepare to join the register so they can deliver the best possible care.

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