Misleading roles: why the public can’t rely on the job title ‘nurse’

Unregistered staff in ‘nurse’ roles, and ‘advanced’ titles misused, survey reveals

Unregistered staff in ‘nurse’ roles, and ‘advanced’ titles misused, survey reveals

  • The title ‘registered nurse’ is protected in UK law – but ‘nurse’ is not
  • Some staff have the word ‘advanced’ in their title without having the relevant skills and qualifications
  • Streamlining the range of nurse job titles can offer greater clarity and support for patients, particularly in specialist areas

Use of the word ‘nurse’ in the job titles of unregistered support staff remains widespread in the NHS, according to front-line nurses.

Registered nurses have told Nursing Standard that the practice confuses patients and staff alike – and some believe it risks the reputation of the profession.

Titles can cause confusion for patients

‘The term “nurse” has become diluted,’ one respondent told Nursing Standard’s image of nursing survey. ‘Non-qualified staff [being] associated


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