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NMC responds to announcement of new nursing associate role​

17 December 2015

Commenting on the announcement of the introduction of a new role of nursing associate, NMC Chief Executive and Registrar Jackie Smith said: 

“The introduction of this new role is an important development for the nursing profession and as the regulator for nursing and midwifery, we will be carefully considering our role moving forward.   

“The starting point for any new role in healthcare has to be its contribution to improving patient safety and quality, and as such there will be some important considerations, including whether nursing associates should be regulated. 

“It is for the government to determine the policy position in discussion with others, but while we are supportive of widening access into the nursing profession, it will be important that any new routes into the profession have the same robust approach that the existing university degree route provides. As the Minister rightly points out, an apprenticeship in nursing as a route to eventual registered nurse status must 'have complete equality of both esteem and rigour' as a degree. 

“We will be responding fully to the consultation and look forward to continuing to work closely with the government and Health Education England on this important issue.” 



Notes for editors

1.  The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) exists to protect the public. We do this by ensuring that only those who meet our requirements are allowed to practise as a nurse or midwife in the UK. We take action if concerns are raised about whether a nurse or midwife is fit to practise. 

2.   For media enquiries, please contact Hannah Schraer on 020 7681 5936 or email