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NMC finalises plans for nursing associate regulation

26 September 2018

Final standards for the new nursing associate role have been agreed by the NMC’s governing Council today. The standards set out the skills and knowledge nursing associates will need to know before they qualify.

Nursing associates will bridge the gap between registered nurses and healthcare assistants. As part of their role they’ll provide and monitor care in a range of settings. They will work as part of the wider health and care team, promoting health and wellbeing and improving safety and the quality of care. 82 percent of people who responded to the NMC’s consultation on the proposed standards said that they were set at an appropriate level.

The new role will also provide a training pathway to becoming a registered nurse for those nursing associates who want to further their career.

Dr Geraldine Walters CBE, Director of Education and Standards at the NMC said:

“Today is an important step on the journey towards qualified nursing associates joining the health and care workforce in England.

“Our standards will ensure that they have the skills and knowledge they need to deliver the highest quality, patient centred care throughout their careers.

“This new role is a welcome addition to the nursing team and it will strengthen the support available to registered nurses. We look forward to the first qualified nursing associates joining our register in January next year.”

Danny Mortimer, chief executive of NHS Employers, said:

“We welcome today’s announcement from the Nursing and Midwifery Council. We believe this is a very positive step that will enable the service to provide meaningful education for trainee nursing associates, and in turn support the delivery of patient care of the highest standards of quality and safety.

“Many employers are enthusiastic about this new role and we believe the decisions announced today by the NMC will support the service to further scale up the development and deployment of nursing associates.”
At its meeting today the Council also agreed standards for education institutions which outline how nursing associates should be taught.

An updated Code of conduct will also apply to nurses, midwives and nursing associates. While the fees that nursing associates will have to pay were also agreed and will bring them into line with their registered nurse and midwife counterparts.

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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.