Council approves regulation of nursing associates in Wales

Published on 27 March 2024

Our Council has today (27 March) given the green light for the nursing associate role to be regulated in Wales, following a request from the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care.

We will now write to the UK Government and ask that it change our legislation, so we can meet the aspirations of the Welsh Government.  

Since 2019, more than 10,000 nursing associates in England have joined our register, helping to bridge the gap between registered nurses and health and care assistants. Almost 1,500 professionals have gone on to become registered nurses – demonstrating that it can also be a successful pathway into graduate level nursing.  

Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Executive and Registrar at the NMC, said:

“We welcome the expansion of the nursing associate role to Wales. Since the introduction of the role in England five years ago, thousands of nursing associates have successfully joined nursing teams, making a vital contribution to the public’s health and wellbeing - many have gone on to train as registered nurses. 

“It’s good to see that another UK country has recognised the positive difference nursing associates make to people’s care. By opting to regulate the role, the people of Wales can have confidence that nursing associates will uphold the same Code as nurses and midwives, and they will be educated effectively to consistent standards.  

“We’ll start work immediately to support implementation of this important development, and look forward to meeting with the Department for Health and Social Care and the Welsh Government to discuss the timetable for amending our legislation.” 

Further Background 

  • Our animation, ‘What to expect from your nursing associate’, explains how these professionals are guided by our Code and standards to provide safe, effective and kind care. 
  • Nursing associates benefit from two years of higher education, across all fields of nursing and experience a range of different health and care settings. 
  • January 28 2024 marked five years since the first nursing associates joined the NMC register – find out how we celebrated the milestone. 


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