Green light for NMC regulation of nursing associate role
The NMC’s Council has agreed to a request from the Department of Health to be the regulator for the new nursing associate role.
This role has been developed as a bridge between health care assistants and graduate registered nurses and is designed to support and not replace registered nurses. It’s intended to be a stand-alone role as well as a new route to becoming a registered nurse.
We are working closely with Health Education England (HEE), the body responsible for training healthcare staff in England, which is running nursing associate pilots. We expect the first nursing associates to complete their training and start work in early 2019.
Changes to Midwifery supervision and Intention to Practise (ItP) notices
The Government has confirmed that it intends to move forward with important changes to our midwifery legislation. One of the most significant changes will mean the removal of statutory midwifery supervision from our legislation. This will help to ensure that there is a clear separation between supervision and regulatory investigations and sanctions.
This will mean some changes for the way midwives maintain their registration with the NMC with midwives no longer having to submit ItP notices to their supervisor of midwives. As we expect the changes to our legislation to take place early this year, we do not intend to issue ItP notices for the practice year 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018 to midwives already on our register.
Although supervision will no longer be linked to regulation, plans are well advanced in each of the four countries for a new model of supervision through employers.
A strong midwifery voice at the NMC
As part of the proposed changes to our legislation the NMC will no longer be required to have a statutory Midwifery Committee, but this does not mean that the voice of midwives will not be heard at the NMC.We are working to heard to ensure that we continue to communicate with and hear from midwives about the issues that matter to you.
We have recently set up a strategic Midwifery Panel to advise us on key midwifery issues.
We're modernising our fitness to practise procedures
We have long maintained that the legislation governing our fitness to practise processes is out of date with some cases taking too long and costing too much to conclude.
In order to make our processes more proportionate and effective we asked the Government to amend our legislation. The Government has now indicated that it intends to move forward with these important changes which will allow us to conclude more cases at an earlier stage without the need for a full hearing. Find out more about these changes.
Staying on the register
Every year a number of nurses and midwives unintentionally drop off our register, because they fail to renew their registration on time. Consequently, they may be unable to work for up to six weeks while they wait to be readmitted to the register.
To avoid this you must pay your registration fee on time every year. In addition, every three years you will need to complete the revalidation process. You can find out when your fee is due and your revalidation application date by logging in to your NMC Online account.
The best way to ensure you pay your fee on time is to set up a direct debit. You can also pay your fee in quarterly instalments. We will also send you a reminder 60 days in advance of your revalidation application date, so please keep us informed of any changes to your contact details including your email address.
Moving forward with our plans for education
We continue to move forward with our programme of change for education. The development of new standards for the future graduate registered nurse are progressing well and we will be consulting on these in the spring.
You can read about the Director of Education, Standards and Policy, Geraldine Walters’ reflections on her first few months at the NMC and the programme of change for education in her first blog.
We have also recently appointed Professor Mary Renfrew to lead on the development of new standards of competence for the future graduate registered midwife. Professor Renfrew is a leading health researcher with over 30 years’ experience in midwifery and maternity care.