NMC and CNOs launch professionalism guide

12 May 2017

Chief Nursing Officers (CNOs) from each of the four countries of the UK, supported by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), have for the first time come together to set out what professionalism means for nurses and midwives.

Launched on International Nurses Day, ‘Enabling professionalism in nursing and midwifery practice’ is a guide aimed at all nurses and midwives and sets out what ‘professionalism’ can look like in everyday practice.

It demonstrates how applying the values of the Code should be at the centre of all nursing and midwifery practice. For employers, it identifies key principles which will help them to provide practice environments that support and encourage professionalism among nurses and midwives.

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

“It is fitting that ‘Enabling professionalism in nursing and midwifery practice’ is launched on International Nurses Day. We want all nurses and midwives to be able to provide the best care possible and Enabling professionalism’ provides a framework for helping them to do exactly that. It lays out what good practice should look like and can be used as a guide to help nurses and midwives ensure they are applying principles of professionalism in their everyday practice.”

In support of this new guide the CNOs have shared their thoughts on what professionalism means to them and for nurses and midwives more widely.

Professor Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer for England, said:

“The world is changing, and nurses and midwives have a key leadership role in meeting current and future challenges. We all have a role to play and supporting professional development is vital. I am truly delighted to have been able to work with my CNO colleagues and the Nursing and Midwifery Council to produce this significant resource.”

Professor Charlotte McArdle, Chief Nursing Officer for Northern Ireland, said: 

“I believe passionately in the nursing and midwifery professions and the difference they can make to people’s lives. That is why I was delighted to lead the work to develop a professionalism framework on behalf of the four countries’ CNOs.

“Enabling professionalism means doing the right thing, every time, in every environment, regardless of who is or isn’t watching. Enabling professionalism provides, for the first time, a structured framework to help us reflect on and guide those daily interactions with the public.”

Professor Fiona McQueen, Chief Nursing Officer for Scotland said:

“Enabling Professionalism will support all nurses and midwives to be the very best they can be; helping to guide day to day practice across all levels and all settings so that nurses and midwives can flourish and provide excellence in their care.”

Professor Jean White, Chief Nursing Officer for Wales said:

“Being a nurse or a midwife puts us in a very privileged position. We engage with people from all walks of life at every point in their lifespan from birth, at the most trying time of people’s lives, and at the time of their death. I trust the professionalism report will engage you in a conversation about what it means to be a professional nurse or midwife.”

The CNOs and the NMC are also asking nurses and midwives to tell us what professionalism means to them. They can do this on Twitter by using #professionalism or through www.nmc.org.uk/professionalism.


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.