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Janet Finch: Why 2018 is an important year for the NMC

With changes to legislation, an overhaul of education standards and the decision to regulate the nursing associate role, 2017 was a busy year for the Nursing and Midwifery Council. Its chair, Dame Janet Finch, looks forward to the year ahead.

With changes to legislation, an overhaul of education standards and the decision to regulate the nursing associate role, 2017 was a busy year for the Nursing and Midwifery Council. Its chair, Dame Janet Finch, looks forward to the year ahead

Looking back on 2017, it was a tremendous year for the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) we drove forward changes to our regulations and spearheaded a radical overhaul of our education standards for future nurses.

We began the year by agreeing to a request from health secretary Jeremy Hunt to become the regulator for nursing associates. Since then we have been working hard to put in place the full suite of regulation required before the first nursing associates, on programmes sponsored by Health Education England, qualify in early 2019.

As we moved into summer, we welcomed long-awaited changes that

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With changes to legislation, an overhaul of education standards and the decision to regulate the nursing associate role, 2017 was a busy year for the Nursing and Midwifery Council. Its chair, Dame Janet Finch, looks forward to the year ahead

NMC©Daniel MItchell
Picture: Daniel Mitchell

Looking back on 2017, it was a tremendous year for the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) – we drove forward changes to our regulations and spearheaded a radical overhaul of our education standards for future nurses.

We began the year by agreeing to a request from health secretary Jeremy Hunt to become the regulator for nursing associates. Since then we have been working hard to put in place the full suite of regulation required before the first nursing associates, on programmes sponsored by Health Education England, qualify in early 2019.

As we moved into summer, we welcomed long-awaited changes that gave us new powers to resolve fitness to practise cases more quickly. These changes mean we can now issue warnings and agree measures, such as requiring additional training for a nurse or midwife who admits falling below our standards but does not pose a clinical risk to patients.

This has allowed us to focus our efforts on taking only the most serious cases to a full hearing, and we expect to see this developing further in 2018.

Future nursing programmes

Throughout the summer months we consulted widely on our draft standards of education for the future nurse, as well as proposals for a new education framework. These proposals will see all nurses gain a more detailed understanding of both mental and physical health and care, with future nursing programmes reflecting the changing demands of the population as more care is delivered at home and in the community.

This was a truly vital piece of work that will help us shape the future of nursing, and I want to thank the thousands of nurses who got involved and shared their views.

A busy year ahead

The year also saw us publish regular data about our register. This highlighted concerning trends, with more nurses and midwives leaving the register than joining. It is critical that we continue to share this important information to support those who are responsible for workforce decisions.

Looking forward, 2018 will be another exciting year for the NMC. We will be finalising future nurse standards and continuing the development of new standards for the future midwife, as well as preparing to welcome nursing associates into regulation.

Finally, we will continue to go out and meet nurses and midwives across the UK. It’s vital we hear your views about the things that matter to you. Only by doing this can we ensure we are the best regulator we can possibly be.

I would like to wish you all a happy new year – may it be a prosperous one.


Dame Janet Finch is chair of the Nursing and Midwifery Council 
 

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