NMC to decide whether to release draft standards for nursing associates

The draft version would be sent to sites that are piloting the role.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is deciding whether to 'take the unusual step' of releasing an early draft of standards for the new nursing associate role.

The nursing associate is a regulated care role working between the levels of a healthcare assistant and a registered nurse.

Health Education England (HEE) is piloting the role with 2,000 trainees enrolled on a two-year programme.

In January, the NMC formally accepted a request from health secretary Jeremy Hunt to regulate the new role.

The regulator has been working on draft proficiency standards, education provider standards and a code of conduct for the role.

Sharing the draft

Board papers released ahead of an NMC council meeting on 27 September state: 'In March 2017 we set out an aspiration to develop and share an early working draft of the nursing associate standards of proficiency with current nursing associate test sites in autumn 2017.

'We want to take this unusual step in order to give test sites the best possible opportunity to absorb and prepare for the NMC's likely expectations of people who apply to join our nursing associate register.

'This version has no formal status and we expect the standards to develop further, through engagement with a wider range of stakeholders and in response to the changes to the nursing standards that may be required following the consultation on those proficiencies.’

Subsequent versions

The meeting papers state that two further versions of the standards will eventually go before the council, regardless of next week’s decision – one ahead of a formal consultation expected in spring 2018, and a final version in autumn 2018.

Formal adoption of any proficiency standards cannot take place until the NMC is officially confirmed as the nursing associate regulator by the Department of Health, which is also expected next year.

Further information

NMC Council meeting papers for 27 September 

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