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NMC announces radical overhaul of nursing education

13 June 2017

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has today announced proposals to radically overhaul pre-registration nursing standards and implement a new education framework for the delivery of nursing and midwifery education and training in the UK.

As part of its consultation launched today, the NMC is asking healthcare professionals, patients and the public to share their views on proposals to help shape the future of nursing education.

Over the past eighteen months the regulator has worked with nurses across the UK at all levels as well as students, educators, other healthcare professionals and patients groups to develop proposed new standards of proficiency that reflect what we the public will need from tomorrow’s nurse.

Jackie Smith, Chief Executive and Registrar of the NMC, said:

“The health and care landscape is changing at an unprecedented rate and nurses and midwives are being asked to undertake more complex roles than ever before. In the coming years many thousands of nurses and midwives will join our register, delivering care to millions of people. Our standards must ensure that they are able to work in ways that are not only fit for today, but also for the future.

“It is now vital that we hear from everyone on our register, employers, educators and the public about our proposals. This is your opportunity to have your say and shape the future of nursing education.”

Proposals outlined today would see all nurses, regardless of their field of practice; gain a more detailed understanding across both mental and physical health and care. Future nursing programmes would also reflect the changing demands of the population with more care being delivered at home and in the community.

There is an increased focus on public health and health education as well as plans to prepare nurses to be able to prescribe from early on in their careers. As part of the proposals nurses will be prepared for more complex leadership roles, working across multi-disciplinary and inter-agency teams to ensure the safety of people in all settings.

The consultation also sets out proposals for a new education framework. This details a range of new outcome focused standards for education institutions and practice placement partners.

This proposed framework, which covers both nursing and midwifery education provision,  is built around five key areas; learning culture, educational governance and quality, student learning and empowerment, educators and curricula and assessment.

In developing this framework the NMC considered issues such as student supervision and support, assessment in practice and the use of simulation. Ultimately the standards aim to reduce the variability of learning opportunities in practice and ensure a more consistent student experience that enables them to meet the requirements necessary for registration.

Over the next thirteen weeks the NMC will run a series of engagement events open to anyone who would like to hear more or share their views. There will be a series of webinars and twitter chats and workshops across the four countries of the UK.

The NMC’s consultation on proposed pre-registration education standards for the future nurse and new education framework runs from 13 June until 12 September. 

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Notes for editors

  1.  For media enquiries, please contact NMC press office on 020 7681 5649 or email media@nmc-uk.org. ​
  2. 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.