Expert advice

Protected titles: what are the legal implications of calling yourself a nurse?

Where attempts to protect the title ‘nurse’ in law stand and why it matters

Where attempts to protect the title ‘nurse’ in law stand and why it matters

At present, legal protection for titles in nursing only extends to the title ‘registered nurse’, which is achieved on registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

The legal basis for this protection comes from the Nursing and Midwifery Order 2001 , which states that the NMC ‘shall establish and maintain a register of qualified nurses and midwives’.

‘Registered nurse’ is the only title with restricted use

Because of this legal protection, ‘registered nurse’ is a restricted title available only to those who are on the NMC register. Anyone who falsely represents themselves as being ‘registered in the register, or a particular part of


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