NMC seeks views on new prescribing and medicines management proposals

15 June 2017

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has today launched a new consultation on proposals which would see nurses and midwives ready to prescribe much earlier in their careers. Plans also outlined by the NMC would see the withdrawal of standards for medicines management.

Jackie Smith, NMC Chief Executive and Registrar said:

“Patients and the public often believe that the majority of nurses and midwives are already able to prescribe and many do not want to wait to see a medical prescriber. That’s why we are seeking views on proposals which would see nurses and midwives equipped with the skills and attributes to make them ‘prescribing ready’ at the point of qualification. These proposals would enable nurses and midwives to build on their training and gain prescribing practice experience as soon as they qualify, rather than waiting at least two years as is currently the case.”

In addition to prescribing proposals we have also outlined plans which would see the withdrawal of standards for medicines management, with the NMC signposting to other organisations better placed to produce up to date guidance on safe and effective medicines management practice.

In looking at prescribing we also had to consider whether we are best placed to set the standards in this area. Prescribing is a skill which crosses professional boundaries and the standards set by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society can apply across all proscribing professions. That’s why we think they are best placed to set the standards in this important area. We are also proposing that other healthcare professionals, not just to doctors, are able to support trainee nurse and midwife prescribers. This is in line with the direction of travel of other healthcare regulators.

The consultation on the proposals around prescribing and standards for medicines management will run from 15 June until 14 September.

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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. 
  3. Details of the consultation can be found on our website at www.nmc.org.uk/nurse2030 and will be available at 00:01 Thursday 15 June.