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NMC has agreed to regulate nursing associates

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Nursing associates will be regulated Nursing associates will be regulated by the NMC following strong support for this

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has formally accepted to regulate the new nursing associate role.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt requested that the NMC regulate the role at the end of last year.

NMC chief executive and registrar Jackie Smith said that the 'Council recognised that there is strong support for the regulation of nursing associates and I have always maintained that the public would expect any role with nursing in the title to be regulated.'

She said that as an organisation they are 'well-equipped to regulate nursing associates and this is a positive endorsement of our progress'.

The NMC will work closely with stakeholders including the Department of Health and Health Education England (HEE) to 'ensure the successful development and implementation of this new role'.

Health minister Philip Dunne said: 'Robust professional regulation is important, so patients can continue to be confident they are receiving high quality care and I am delighted with today’s decision by the NMC.'

Professor Lisa Bayliss-Pratt, director of nursing/national deputy director of education and quality Health Education England welcomed the announcement.

'Our consultation showed that there was strong support for regulation and we have always been very clear that regulation is something that we are in favour of. The role will establish a clear pathway for aspiring nurses, through education and training and supported by regulation it will give confidence to patients and employers that it is an important part of the NHS workforce,' she added.

The HEE consultation into the role last year found that the majority of nurses wanted the nursing associate role to be regulated.

The nurse associate role will be introduced into the NHS later this year with the aim to bridge the gap between registered nurses and healthcare assistants.


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Comments

Very good news on the Regulatory Body
I do hope the process will be outcome focus for effectiveness and efficiency, provide benefits not only to patients but drives up health care and improvements for all providers and receivers alike
Posted by: ,
hi
This is good news, however what about the nurse practitioner role , BSc Hons degree nurse practitioner who has done an extra 3 years to get qualification, it would be nice that their role has some status now too and the NMC honour also
Posted by: ,
My personal view is that this is a retrograde step albeit predictable given the drastic shortage of RNs.

The NMC regulation of Nursing Associates is critical. It mirrors the post second world war introduction of State Enrolled Assistant Nurses who then in the 1960s-1980s became State Enrolled Nurses; regulated by the General Nursing Council (phased out in 1982 and replaced by the UKCC). These nurses were clinically very competent within their chosen specialties and became the backbone of the nursing workforce however their career progression into senior posts was clipped. From the late 1980s the SEN was phased out in favour of a single RN (with specialist branches).

My fear is that the Nursing Associate will follow the same path as the former EN, good and competent care providers with a very restricted career progression. Will these NAs be entitled to use title Nurse?

Mike Paynter
Somerset
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