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Standards for nursing associates to be drawn up by NMC

Professional standards for the work of nursing associates will be drawn up by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) this summer.

Professional standards for the work of nursing associates will be drawn up by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) this summer.

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

Health Education England (HEE) is currently piloting the role with 2,000 trainees due to complete training in January 2019.

Vital code

The NMC, in papers published ahead of a council meeting on 5 July said it would be working on draft proficiency standards, education provider standards and a code of conduct this summer.

The code will be a vital document in defining the new role, the NMC says.

We recognise the importance of the development of the code for nursing associates and

Professional standards for the work of nursing associates will be drawn up by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) this summer.


Health Education England is piloting a new nursing associate role of regulated care. Picture: iStock

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

Health Education England (HEE) is currently piloting the role with 2,000 trainees due to complete training in January 2019.

Vital code

The NMC, in papers published ahead of a council meeting on 5 July said it would be working on draft proficiency standards, education provider standards and a code of conduct this summer.

The code will be a vital document in defining the new role, the NMC says.

‘We recognise the importance of the development of the code for nursing associates and the role the code will play in defining the role of the nursing associate in practice,’ the NMC council paper states.

Preliminary review

‘The NMC has conducted a preliminary review of the code and other practice standards and guidance to assess their potential to apply to nursing associates.’

The NMC plans to consult on these documents next spring, with final versions approved in autumn 2018.

Nursing associates, which were announced by the government in 2015, are intended to provide hands-on patient care following a two-year training programme. The role will also provide a new route into becoming a nurse.

Unions have previously raised concerns that the band 4 role could be used to cut costs by replacing nursing roles. Unison has said the role must not be ‘nursing on the cheap’.

The RCN surveyed more than 5,000 nurses on the role for HEE’s consultation on nursing associates last year and almost eight out of ten said that it could lead to fewer nurses, and 70% said that it would dilute the skill mix.

Read the meeting documents here


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