The NMC has been offered a £20 million grant from the government in a bid to improve nursing and midwifery regulation, but has yet to decide whether to accept the funding.
The announcement has been welcomed by health union Unison, which says the NMC has ‘no excuse' for raising its registration fees in light of the donation.
An NMC spokesman said: ‘Patients must be able to have confidence in the quality of care they receive from nurses and midwives, and we share the government's commitment to improve nursing and midwifery regulation.
‘The NMC's Council has a responsibility to ensure that the organisation is adequately resourced for the future in order to deliver effective and efficient public protection. We welcome the government's offer of a grant to give us further options to contribute to the costs of regulating nurses and midwives. This will be discussed by our Council when it meets on 25 October.'
Unison head of nursing Gail Adams said: ‘Nurses and midwives should not be made to pay the price for past management failures by the NMC. They have not had a pay rise in two years and the NMC wants to raise registration by 58 per cent - where is the justice in that?
‘The NMC must think very carefully about the impact that a massive hike in registration fees will have on nurses' confidence in the ability of the NMC to trust that they have the best interest of nurses and patients at heart.'