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NMC responds to Government announcement on nurse career pathways

30 November 2016

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has today received a formal request from the Department of Health to be the regulator for the new nursing associate role.

Throughout this year we have worked closely with Health Education England (HEE) to provide the necessary support and advice on the development of this new role.

This request from the Department of Health will be considered by our Council at its meeting on 25 January 2017 and in the interim we will continue to work closely with Health Education England on the development of the role.  

In addition, the Department of Health confirmed that the new nursing degree apprenticeship standard has been approved. The nursing degree apprenticeship is expected to be introduced in September 2017 and will help to widen access to the nursing profession.

Students undertaking the nursing degree apprenticeship will be employed in the healthcare sector and be released by their employer to study. They will train in a range of practice placement settings and will learn at NMC approved education providers.   

On nursing associates:

NMC Chief Executive and Registrar Jackie Smith said:

“There is strong support for the nursing associate role and the Department of Health has today decided that it is a role which requires regulation.

“As an organisation we are well equipped to take on the role of the regulator, however, this decision will be made by our Council at its meeting 25 January.”

On nursing degree apprenticeships:

Jackie Smith, NMC Chief Executive and Registrar said:

“We have worked closely with the Government and other partners on the development of the nursing degree apprenticeship.

“Those following the new apprenticeship pathway will be trained against the NMC’s pre- registration standards ensuring all nurses joining the NMC’s register are equipped with the right skills, knowledge and experience to deliver safe and effective care.”


Notes for editors

  1.  For media enquiries, please contact NMC press office on 020 7681 5649 or email ​

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.