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Readers panel: Should nursing associates pay the same as nurses and midwives to join the register?

The Nursing and Midwifery Council has said nursing associates will be subject to the same model of regulation and the same regulatory processes as nurses and midwives, and has launched a public consultation on whether nursing associates should pay the same fees to join the register. Nursing Standard readers have their say

The Nursing and Midwifery Council has said nursing associates will be subject to the same model of regulation and the same regulatory processes as nurses and midwives, and has launched a public consultation on whether nursing associates should pay the same fees to join the register. Nursing Standard readers have their say


Picture: iStock

Rachel Kent is a mental health nurse in London

If nursing associates are going to be treated the same as nurses regarding their registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) – with the same representation, regulation and restrictions this entails – then fees should be based on cost, not income. While I appreciate that nursing associates are paid less than nurses, if they were to have reduced fees, should nurses have a tiered system as well? A band 5 nurse currently pays the same fee as a band 8 nurse. Is this fair?

Drew Payne is a community staff nurse in north London 
@drew_london 

The NMC’s justification for suggesting nursing associates should pay the same registration fee as nurses and midwives is that they ‘have no basis on which to assume the costs of regulating them will be markedly different’. Really? There will be far fewer of them for starters, so I would seriously question how they can generate the same ratio of fitness to practise complaints. Registered nurses don’t get value for money for their fees as it is. Now the NMC proposes to exploit nursing associates as well.

Beverley Ramdeen is a senior nursing lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire 
@BeverleyRamdeen 

From a pragmatic point of view, if the NMC will be using the same model and processes to regulate the nursing associate role, then they should pay £120, the same yearly fee paid by registered nurses and midwives. Although nursing associates will be at a lower band, they are paying for a service that would not necessarily reflect their banding. However, if there is a way for them to pay less without it being subsidised by nurses and midwives, this should be explored further.

Daniel Athey is a charge nurse on an acute medical unit in Sheffield 
@danjathey

The ever-unpopular NMC fees should, in some form, apply to nursing associates. But to ask staff on band 4 wages to pay the same as registered nurses and midwives, on band 5 and above, seems particularly unfair. Surely some sort of reduced fee in keeping with their lower wage would be more appropriate? Asking people how much of their hard-earned wages they want to pay just to be allowed to do their jobs is always going to be a contentious issue.


Readers panel members give their views in a personal capacity only 

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