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NMC launches new standards to ‘shape next generation of nurses’


The Nursing and Midwifery Council has today officially launched its new set of standards on the skills and knowledge the “next generation of nurses will learn to enable them to deliver world class care”.

At the same time as publishing the standards for nurses, the nursing regulator has also introduced standards for a “more modern and innovative approach” to the way universities and their practise partners train nurses and midwives.

“Our new standards represent a huge leap forward”

Jackie Smith

The new standards represent two years of work and have been developed alongside nurses as well as, students, educators, healthcare professionals, charities and patient groups from across the UK.

As previously reported, in March the NMC signed off changes that will see all nurses in the future trained in the same set of procedures and communication skills regardless of their field of practice.

In addition, the NMC agreed to remove its cap on the number of hours students can spend on simulation activities, despite concerns this would reduce the amount of time on placements.

Major changes to mentoring have also been agreed, meaning students will now be supported by supervisors and assessors in both practice and academic settings.

Meanwhile, as part of the changes, the regulator will be adopting the Royal Pharmaceutical Society competency framework for prescribers.

It will also be removing its standards for medicines management and working with the society to produce “consistent guidance” for all health and social care professionals.

The first nurses can begin training against the new standards “as early as January 2019”, according to the regulator.

Launching the standards, the NMC said they would give nurses a greater understanding across all four fields of practice, in particular mental health, while also emphasising teamwork and leadership.

In addition, the NMC said nurses would have greater responsibilities in public health and be given the skills to train as prescribers immediately after qualifying, rather than having to wait three years.

Nt editorial jackie smith

Nt editorial jackie smith

Jackie Smith

Jackie Smith, NMC chief executive and registrar said: “Our new standards represent a huge leap forward.

“They raise the bar for the next generation of nurses and not only match the demands of the role but the ambition of the profession,” she said.

“We’ve also overhauled the way universities train nurses and midwives,” noted Ms Smith, who recently announced her departure from the regulator.

“They’ll be given more flexibility to harness new ways of working and embrace technology so they can equip the nurses and midwives of tomorrow with the skills they need to deliver world class care for years to come,” she added.

The NMC’s new stadards for nurses and nurse education:


Readers' comments (2)

  • Training to prescribe immediately after qualifying? Thats an accident waiting to happen if ever there was one! For a start, most trusts require the potential prescriber to have been in post for at least a year, and how on earth are you familiar with all the drugs in your chosen area, plus all the other medications a patient may be on in such a short period of time? It might work for community nurses, but how do you plan on explaining to ward based hospital nurses that actually, there's no need for you to prescribe as there are Doctors, Clinical Nurse Specialists, Advanced nurse practioners, specialist pharmacists etc who are already prescribing? I think this unfairly raises the expectations of student nurses who will be required to be competent in their chosen speciality and undertake post-grad qualifications before they are ever considered to become a prescriber.And of course, there will be all the longer qualified nurse who DO have the experience and knowledge wanting to undertake the training! Have the NMC considered the cost to trusts? The prescribing course is an expensive one so it's unrealistic to assume that the money is going to be available for every nurse who wants to prescribe to be able to do so.

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  • Do we really think this is positive progress - additional responsibility on newly qualified nursed who should be consolidating their experience during their training and broaden their knowledge. The NMC have implemented the standards but don't seem to have any responsibility over how this will be implemented safely. A rise in NMC referrals in the only definite outcome

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