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Standards of proficiency for registered nurses

Our new standards of proficiency represent the skills, knowledge and attributes all nurses must demonstrate.

Standards of proficiency

Our new standards of proficiency for registered nurses were approved by our Council at its meeting on 28 March 2018.

They have been updated to take into account the changes taking place in society and health care, and the implications these changes have for registered nurses. 

Explore our resources for implementing our standards. 

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

How to read our standards

The standards are now grouped under seven platforms, which are important to understand because they:

  • represent the knowledge, skills and attributes that all registered nurses must demonstrate when caring for people of all ages and across all care settings
  • reflect what the public can expect nurses to know and be able to do in order to deliver safe, compassionate and effective nursing care
  • provide a benchmark for nurses from the European Economic Area, EU and overseas wishing to join the register
  • provide a benchmark for those who plan to return to practice after a period of absence

The seven platforms:

  • Being an accountable professional
  • Promoting health and preventing ill health
  • Assessing needs and planning care
  • Providing and evaluating care
  • Leading and managing nursing care and working in teams
  • Improving safety and quality of care
  • Coordinating care

Using our standards

It's important to read these standards, along with our Realising professionalism: Standards for education and training:

Reading  these together, will give you a complete picture of:

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

Find out more about implementing our standards

How these standards were developed

Over the past few years, we've been developing these standards with imput from stakeholders across the UK.

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

Find out more about how the standards were developed.