Expert advice

Legal advice: Can a mentor report a pre-registration student to the NMC?

A mentor believes a student's attitude makes her unsuitable for nursing, but students who are not yet registered with the NMC cannot be reported to the regulator. The university's disciplinary process is an option, but try a more informal approach first, says legal expert Marc Cornock. 
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A mentor believes a student's attitude makes her unsuitable for nursing, but students who are not yet registered with the NMC cannot be reported to the regulator. The university's disciplinary process is an option, but try a more informal approach first, says legal expert Marc Cornock

As pre-registration students are not registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), you cannot report them to the regulator.

The NMC issues guidance on professional conduct for nursing and midwifery students , but it cannot take any action until the person is on, or applies to join, the register.

It is only when a student

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A mentor believes a student's attitude makes her unsuitable for nursing, but students who are not yet registered with the NMC cannot be reported to the regulator. The university's disciplinary process is an option, but try a more informal approach first, says legal expert Marc Cornock 

legal
Concerns about a pre-registration student are best discussed informally
at first with their lecturer or university. Picture: iStock

As pre-registration students are not registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), you cannot report them to the regulator. 

The NMC issues  guidance on professional conduct for nursing and midwifery students, but it cannot take any action until the person is on, or applies to join, the register. 

It is only when a student applies to register with the NMC that their attitude can be taken into account, as part of the declaration by the student and the report from the university about their good character.

Organisations providing pre-registration training have to adhere to educational standards as part of their approval process with the NMC, so a disciplinary process may be required. 

‘It is only when a student applies to register with the NMC that their attitude can be taken into account, as part of the declaration by the student and the report from the university about their good character’

Marc Cornock

Often thought of as ‘fitness to practise’ for pre-registration students, the process is administrated by the training provider rather than the NMC.

The steps involved include how a case can be brought, how it is investigated, the rights of the student to respond at each stage of the process, and whether the student can be represented at or accompanied to any hearings. 

There will also be discussion of what happens if further cases are brought against a student, and the possible actions that can be taken against the student at each stage. The ultimate sanction is removing the student from the pre-registration programme.

I would advise discussing any concerns with the university practice liaison or the student’s university lecturer. They will know the student disciplinary process and whether action needs to be taken, or if a more informal approach might be more appropriate.


Marc Cornock is a qualified nurse, academic lawyer and senior lecturer at the Open University

 

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