Fitness to practise: why nurses shouldn’t be fearful of the NMC

Nursing and Midwifery Council chief executive Andrea Sutcliffe on treating all staff equally, retaining nurses and learning resilience

NMC chief executive Andrea Sutcliffe. Picture: Barney Newman

How does the nursing regulator balance being fair to the professionals on its register while protecting the public?

The Nursing and Midwifery Council’s ability to remove a registrant’s licence to practise – their livelihood – makes some nursing staff fearful of the regulator.

Addressing charges of inequality

Research has also shown inequalities for certain groups of nurses, midwives and nursing associates on the NMC register who face fitness to practise proceedings.

The latest episode of the Nursing Standard podcast hears from NMC chief executive Andrea Sutcliffe who, since taking the helm in 2019, has been working to make the regulator fairer and kinder.

Ms Sutcliffe speaks to Nursing Standard editor Flavia Munn about eliminating discrimination from NMC processes, including whether English language testing requirements for overseas nurses should be less stringent.

She talks about supporting overseas nurses to flourish in their careers rather than overlooking them for promotion because of misconceptions they will soon return to their home countries.

Nurse retention and how to stay resilient

Ms Sutcliffe also discusses the retention of the nursing workforce and why the UK cannot rely on international recruitment alone to fix staffing issues.

She reveals her personal experience of staying resilient, and prioritising safety – including on her bike.

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