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NMC responds to Secretary of State’s speech at Conservative Party Conference

Responding to the Secretary of State’s speech on nursing education, NMC Chief Executive and Registrar, Jackie Smith said:

“The pressures facing the health and care workforce have been widely acknowledged and our own register has seen a decline in those registered to work in the UK. It’s understandable that the Government want to address these challenges by increasing the number of registered nurses and nursing associates, however our role is to protect the public by making sure that all those wishing to join our register meet our rigorous standards.

“If the necessary changes to our legislation go through on time, we would expect nursing associates who have completed their training and met our standards to join the register in January 2019. Those standards will ensure a clear distinction between the graduate registered nurse and the nursing associate.

“The Government has always been clear that nursing associate will be a profession in its own right and for those who want to progress to become a registered nurse, we are working closely with education providers to establish what additional training is required to meet our standards.”

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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.