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NMC announces new COVID-19 education standards

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Nurses The new flexible standards will allow final year students to join the fight against the pandemic

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) will reintroduce emergency education standards to enable final year nursing students to opt in to support the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, via extended clinical placement.

This decision follows a request from the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, supported by the Chief Executive of the NHS in England, in response to the continuing pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic. The NMC has also introduced two additional emergency standards relating to first year nursing and midwifery students and supervision and assessment in practice. This follows feedback from the health and care service and education providers.

‘Today’s students are tomorrow’s registered nurses and midwives and it’s vital we support them to complete their education. But we recognise the health and care services in the UK are under unprecedented strain,’ said Andrea Sutcliffe, the NMC’s Chief Executive and Registrar.

‘The changes we’ve made today will enable students to continue learning, while at the same time, allowing those student nurses in their final year to contribute to the fight against COVID-19 where they wish to do so.’

According to the NMC, this package of measures will mean education organisations across all four countries of the UK are being provided with as much flexibility as possible in how they deliver their courses, while also allowing those final year students who want to support the response to the pandemic to be able to do so.

‘I’m enormously grateful to each and every student for coping with such change and disruption to their studies at this challenging time. Their dedication and hard work fills me with enormous pride and hope for the future,’ added Ms Sutcliffe.

‘I look forward to welcoming them onto our permanent register as professionals in the months to come.’

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