Blog: Last one of 2019

Published on 23 December 2019

In her last blog of 2019, our Chief Executive, Andrea Sutcliffe, reflects on the year so far and looks forward to the International Year of the Nurse and Year of the Midwife

My last blog of the year. I will make it sweet and short as I’m sure you’ve either got work to do or last-minute Christmas holiday things to be sorting!

What a year 2019 has been – for the country; the health and social care system; for nurses, midwives and nursing associates; and for the NMC – with the opening of the register to nursing associates in January, making good progress with improvements in fitness to practise, approving the Future Midwife standards, developing our 2020-2025 strategy and so much more besides.

Reflecting on progress 

And finally – here we are in December celebrating today the centenary of nursing registration as 23 December marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the Nurses Registration Act in 1919.

It’s a real privilege for me to be the Chief Executive and Registrar of the NMC and particularly at this moment when I reflect on the progress made in the 100 years of nursing registration – not forgetting the 117 years of midwifery registration too.

The campaign Ethel Gordon Fenwick fought to have nurses recognised as professionals, working consistently to agreed standards set the tone for the dedicated, caring experts we see every day in our communities, our hospitals and a range of health and care settings.

Watching the videos and reading the stories of nurses we have shared in Always Caring, Always Nursing never fails to inspire and move me. If you’ve not seen them, find a quiet moment to take a look. I guarantee you won’t regret it!

The role of the NMC (to maintain the register, set professional and educational standards, assure education programmes and act fairly in response to concerns about our registrants) is just as important as ever to enable nurses, midwives and nursing associates to deliver the care we all want – safe, effective and kind.

We take the legacy of history very seriously and in looking forward over the next five years all of us at NMC are determined to work with the public, the professionals on our register and our partners to regulate with thought and care, shape professional practice positively and inspire public confidence in nursing and midwifery.

Thank you

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has welcomed me this year into my new role at the NMC – there’s been a lot to do but I am loving it. I look forward to working with you in 2020 when we will have even more to celebrate with the International Year of the Nurse and Year of the Midwife.

My (nearly) last words go to the nurses, midwives and nursing associates on our register. Hundreds of thousands of you will be working alongside health and social care colleagues throughout this festive season.

Thank you for your commitment, skill, care and compassion at this time of the year and every day. You make such a difference to people’s lives.

With my very best wishes to everyone for a very Happy Christmas.

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