New NMC standards shape the future of nursing for next generation

22 May 2018

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has launched ambitious new standards that set out the skills and knowledge the next generation of nurses will learn to enable them to deliver world class care. The regulator has also introduced a more modern and innovative approach to the way universities and their practise partners train nurses and midwives.

The new standards represent two years’ work and have been developed alongside nurses as well as, students, educators, healthcare professionals, charities and patient groups from across the UK.

Jackie Smith, NMC Chief Executive and Registrar, said:

“Our new standards represent a huge leap forward. They raise the bar for the next generation of nurses and not only match the demands of the role but the ambition of the profession.

“We’ve also overhauled the way universities train nurses and midwives. They’ll be given more flexibility to harness new ways of working and embrace technology so they can equip the nurses and midwives of tomorrow with the skills they need to deliver world class care for years to come.”

The new standards will give nurses a greater understanding across all four fields of nursing practice, in particular mental health - while also increasing the emphasis on teamwork and leadership. Nurses will also have greater responsibilities in the area of public health and will be given the skills to train as prescribers immediately after qualifying - rather than wait three years as they have to now.

The regulator has also outlined brand new standards for education institutions and practice placement partners - who provide the practical training experience for nurses and midwives. There will be changes to the way students are supervised and assessed with other registered health and care professionals as well as nurses and midwives carrying out the role. This will increase the pool of professionals available to support and improve the quality of student learning. The changes will also allow greater independence of assessment, greater innovation by placement providers, and allow development of placements in more settings.

The first nurses can begin training against the new standards as early as January 2019.

The new standards can be found on our website.


Notes for editors

  1. As part of these changes the NMC will be removing its standards for medicines management and working closely with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society to produce consistent guidance on medicines management for all health and social care professionals. The regulator will also adopt the Royal Pharmaceutical Society competency framework for prescribers.
  2. For media enquiries, please contact NMC press office on 020 7681 5649 or email
  3. The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is the independent professional regulator for nurses and midwives in the UK. We exist to protect the public. We do this by maintaining the register of qualified nurses and midwives and setting standards of education, training, conduct and performance. We make sure that nurses and midwives keep their skills and knowledge up to date through a regular revalidation process. If concerns are raised about the standards of a registered nurse or midwife, we have a duty to investigate and, where necessary, take action to protect the public.