NMC seeks views on plans to increase ways for nurses and midwives to return to work

24 September 2018

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is seeking views on proposals that would increase options for nurses, midwives and, in the future, nursing associates to show they’re safe to return to work after time away from their profession.

Currently, around 1,000 nurses and midwives return to work each year by completing a return to practice course at a University.

As part of its public consultation the regulator is exploring alternative options for nurses and midwives to show that their skills and knowledge are up to date. This may include taking a test or submitting a portfolio of evidence.

The NMC is also seeking views on proposed changes to return to practice University programmes and aims to better understand the barriers that prevent people from returning to the professions.

Sue Killen, Interim Chief Executive and Registrar of the Nursing and Midwifery Council said:

“Whether it’s a career break, to have children or to travel abroad, there are many reasons why nurses and midwives choose to take a break from their profession.

“When they want to return, we want to make it as straightforward as possible and ensure our processes do not discourage people from getting back to work.

“We recognise making everyone take a course may not be proportionate and that’s why we’re exploring alternative ways for people to show they’re safe to practise.” 

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Notes for editors

  1. The consultation can be found here
  2. For media enquiries, please contact NMC press office on 020 7681 5649 or email media@nmc-uk.org. ​
  3. 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.