The Nursing and Midwifery Council has today launched a consultation on its proposals for nursing associate standards of proficiency and the regulation of the controversial new role.
Last month, the NMC published an updated draft version of the standards nursing associates will need to meet and the list of skills they should be trained in, as reported by Nursing Times.
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Launching its consultation today on its proposals for the role that is designed to bridge the gap between healthcare assistants and nurses, the NMC described its plans as “ambitious”.
Similar to an even earlier draft, the document approved in March by the NMC council stated that nursing associates must be able to recognise signs of allergy, drug sensitivity and adverse reaction.
It also said they must be able to recognise the different ways medicines can be prescribed, be able to administer via oral, topical and inhalation routes, and give subcutaneous and intradermal injections.
However, the regulator has decided not to consult on whether nursing associates should be trained in the insertion and removal of oral/nasal gastric tubes, insertion and removal of catheters for all genders, intramuscular medicines administration, and the use of infusion pumps.
“We want to hear the views of all those with an interest in the role”
It has also removed an entire section from the original draft detailing commonly encountered symptoms that it previously said nursing associates should be able to identify and monitor.
Although the updated version still mentions some of these symptoms elsewhere in the document, it no longer includes reference to pyrexia and hypothermia, angina, breathlessness and mood swings.
In addition, the regulator is consulting on a revised code of conduct that will be used by nurses, midwives and nursing associates.
The NMC said it wanted to apply the same code to all three roles, because it holds the “same expectations of professional behaviour from all of our registrants”.
Under its plans, nursing associates would also be subject to the same revalidation requirements as nurses and midwives, as well as the same fitness to practise processes should something go wrong.
NMC chief executive and registrar Jackie Smith said: “This is a hugely exciting step on the road to regulation for this new profession and we want to hear the views of all those with an interest in the role.
Nt editorial jackie smith
“We think that our proposals will ensure that nursing associates are equipped with the skills they need to deliver excellent patient care and to support registered nurses and other health and care professionals throughout their careers,” she said.
Over the coming weeks, the NMC highlighted that it would be holding workshops across the country for trainees, registered nurses, employers, patients and the public.
There will also be regular Twitter chats and webinars, with “lots of opportunities for people to learn more about what regulation means for the new role and share their views”, it said.
The consultation – covering the standards of proficiency, the code, education requirements, routes to the register, revalidation and fitness to practise – will run from today until 2 July 2018.