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NMC outlines proposed standards for new nursing associate role

9 April 2018

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has today launched its consultation seeking views on its proposed approach to the regulation of nursing associates – the new role created to bridge the gap between healthcare assistants and registered nurses in England.

As part of its proposals the regulator has outlined its approach to education including ambitious standards of proficiency for the role that will enable nursing associates to deliver first class care.

The NMC has also set out how it expects the existing Code - with a new introduction - to apply to nursing associates as well as nurses and midwives, ensuring that the same high standards of professional behaviour and conduct will apply to everyone on its register.

Jackie Smith Chief Executive and Registrar of the NMC said:

“This is a hugely exciting step on the road to regulation for this new profession and we want to hear the views of all those with an interest in the role.

“We think that our proposals will ensure that nursing associates are equipped with the skills they need to deliver excellent patient care and to support registered nurses and other health and care professionals throughout their careers.”

Under the plans nursing associates would also be subject to the same revalidation requirements as nurses and midwives when renewing their registration with the NMC as well as the same fitness to practise processes should something go wrong.

Over the coming weeks the NMC will be holding workshops across the country for trainees, registered nurses, employers, patients and the public. There will also be regular twitter chats and webinars with lots of opportunities for people to learn more about what regulation means for the new role and share their views.

Nursing associates: Consultation on the regulation of a new profession will run until 2nd July 2018.

You can keep up to date with nursing associates developments by following @nmcnews or by visiting our consultation hub

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Notes for editors

  1. For media enquiries, please contact NMC press office on 020 7681 5884 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.
  3. In October 2015 the then Secretary of State for Health, Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP announced the establishment of a new role, called ‘nursing associate’. He also announced that the first 1,000 nursing associates would begin training in January 2017, with a further 1,000 starting their training in March 2017. In November 2016 Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP announced that the nursing associate role will be regulated and formally requested that the NMC be the regulator. On 25 January 2017 our Council agreed to the request that the NMC regulate nursing associates.