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Standards for pre-registration nursing programmes

Part 3 of Realising professionalism: Standards for education and training

Pre-reg nursing


Our standards for pre-registration nursing programmes have been in effect since 28 January 2019

These standards set out the entry requirements, length of programme, methods of assessment and the level of award for NMC-approved programmes.

 If you can't find what you're looking for, feel free to email us.

Why our standards are important 

Our standards are for nurses in training and education providers because education institutions who must comply with them to be approved to run any NMC-approved programmes.

Student nurses must successfully complete an NMC-approved pre-registration programme in order to meet our standards for registered nurses and be able to join our register.

Our standards framework

Our standards for pre-registration midwifery programmes follow the student journey and are grouped under the following five headings:

  • Selection, admission and progression 
    Standards about an applicant’s suitability and continued participation in a pre-registration nursing programme
  • Curriculum
    Standards for the content, delivery and evaluation of the pre-registration nursing programme
  • Practice learning
    Standards specific to pre-registration learning for nurses that takes place in practice settings
  • Supervision and assessment
    Standards for safe and effective supervision and assessment of students on pre-registration nursing programmes
  • Qualification to be awarded
    Standards about the academic award and registering the student’s award with us.

Using our standards

It's important to read these standards along with other parts of Realising professionalism: Standards for education and training:

Reading these together will give you:

  • Clarity on what nurses need to know and be able to do, by the time they register with us, and
  • Our expectations of what approved education institutions and their practice learning partners must do for delivering NMC-approved programmes for nurses, midwives and nursing associates.

How our standards were developed

Since 2016 we have been developing these standards with input from stakeholders across the UK.

We put our proposals to consultation in summer 2017. We listened closely to the feedback we received and made positive changes to the standards as a result.

Find out more about how the standards were developed.