We understand that students, approved education institutions (AEIs) and their practice partners continue to experience unprecedented challenges as the pandemic continues and the new academic year begins.
Our priority is to continue to support students to successfully complete their programmes on time, so that they can begin their careers as qualified, registered professionals.
Changes to our standards
At the start of the pandemic, we introduced emergency education standards to enable our approved education institutions (AEIs) and their practice learning partners to support students throughout the emergency period.
With the pandemic continuing, the emergency programme standards have been removed, however a few have been kept or slightly modify as recovery standards.
The recovery standards came into effect on 30 September 2020 to support students returning to their normal studies and supernumerary placements.
Find out more about recovery and emergency programme standards.
What this means for students
Our recovery standards give flexibility to enable education and healthcare providers to adopt innovative ways of providing practice placements in these challenging times.
At the current time it is not planned to return to the previous emergency standards, so we are maintaining the supernumerary status for all students. This means that students will not be deployed into paid placements as they were earlier in the year.
We’re continuing to monitor the situation to see if we need to make any further changes, and we’ll keep you informed.
Read our statement on principles for nursing and midwifery students during the next phase of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Approved education institutions (AEIs) and their practice learning partners will be regularly reviewing risks and communicating any impact this might have on their students to us.
Covid-19 temporary registration
Informed by the views of our partners and our assessment of the current situation, we’ve decided not to open up the Covid-19 temporary register to nursing students. Read our statement to find out our reasons.
Apprenticeships (England only)
Nursing and midwifery apprenticeships
The recovery standards will apply to both students undertaking a nursing or midwifery degree apprenticeship (NDA and MDA).
During the Covid-19 pandemic, your employer might need to deploy you to support the workforce, which might affect how your programme is delivered and its duration. If you’re employed, your education institutions will need to work with employers to support any changes to the way their programmes are delivered. This might mean that some courses are deferred.
Nursing associate apprenticeships
Some of our recovery standards apply to all NMC approved education programmes, and therefore will apply to our approved nursing associate (NA) programmes.
However, we do recognise that most nursing associate students are on apprenticeship based programmes, and employers may call their students back into practice during the emergency period. This might mean that some courses are deferred.
End Point Assessments
If you’re due to take your End Point Assessment as a NDA, MDA or NA, the Institute for Apprenticeships is supporting new flexibilities. These are for Registered Nurse (RN) Degree Apprentices and Nursing Associate (NA) Apprentices that reflect the adjustments we’ve made with regard to professional registration in response to the Covid-19 outbreak.
With immediate effect and during the Covid-19 pandemic, any RN and NA apprentices who have completed the NMC approved programme; been assessed by the NMC as having permanently met the requirements for Professional Registration; and passed through the apprenticeship gateway will be regarded to have met the EPA requirements and have achieved their apprenticeship.
This change will only be applied to qualifying apprentices during the Covid-19 pandemic. If you have concerns you should seek advice from your education institution and your employer about this. You can find more information about this in the government's latest guidance or through the Institute for Apprenticeships.
Information for education institutions
Any changes made by educational institutions to accommodate NDA, MDA, and NA students to work in practice should be accounted for and reported to us using the Covid-19 exceptional reporting form.
As registered nurses and midwives, we know that being in the position to contribute to the nursing and midwifery workforce during this time might affect your studies. Maximising the workforce continues to be our priority, and we hope that your programme is gaining some normality at this time, but we recognise some programmes may take longer to complete.
Education institutions will need to report any changes to the programmes, or risks because of the change, with our Covid-19 exceptional reporting form.
Nurses and midwives on prescribing programmes will continue to contribute to the delivery of care in their usual place of work or be deployed as necessary by their employer.
We encourage students to continue their programme to completion by working closely with the education institution's, who can continue to provide support theory and practice. This might be achieved by changing the mode of delivery and assessment for the programme while making sure it meets our standards during the emergency period.
Programmes may have been interrupted during the initial emergency period and this may continue throughout the pandemic, if it's not possible to support student's prescribing practice under supervision.
Special Community Public Health Nursing (SCPHN)
Most students on the SCPHN programme will likely be in a position to contribute to the delivery of care in their current place of work.
Where possible, we encourage students and employers to continue their programme to completion. We know that people working in these areas are may be redeployed or with reduced number of contact hours in people's homes. Programmes might have to be deferred during the pandemic if supervision and practice learning on these programmes isn't possible.
Specialist Practice Qualification
Registered nurses and midwives undertaking a specialist practice qualification may contribute to the delivery of care in their usual place of work or be deployed as necessary by employers.
We encourage students to continue their programme to completion. This will mean working closely with their education institutes which may be able to continue to support theory and practice by changing the modes of delivery and assessment for the programme while making sure it meets our standards.