Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Exclusive: NMC would be able to regulate new nursing associate role if asked to

  • 8 Comments

The Nursing and Midwifery Council would be able to regulate the new nursing associate role if asked to, its chief executive has told Nursing Times.

A consultation on the creation of the future role to bridge the gap between senior healthcare assistants and registered nurses is expected to be launched this week. Plans for the role were revealed by Nursing Times in November and confirmed by a government announcement just before Christmas.

Speaking ahead of the expected consultation, NMC chief executive and registrar Jackie Smith said Health Education England and the government would need to be “clear” about their ideas for three “critical” factors affecting the role – its education pathway, standards and regulation.

In particular, she called for ministers and HEE to be transparent over whether it would be regulated, in order not to “mislead the public”.

“I think there’s a risk in the title nursing associate of misleading the public if that role is not regulated,” she said.

“If you’re going to create an additional role and you are going to say nurse in the title, the public will expect that that is someone who is registered and regulated with an organisation,” she said. “Our position is, if you are going to adopt that title, then please don’t mislead the public.”

Jackie Smith

Jackie Smith

Jackie Smith

Asked whether the NMC itself would like to regulate the role, Ms Smith said: “I think the NMC could do it if we were asked to do.

“If this person is being supervised, delegated to in any way by a registered nurse or is working in parallel with a registered nurse, then it would make sense for the NMC to do [regulate] it. But I think there’s a long way to go before we get to that point,” she told Nursing Times.

She added that, if was asked to regulate the role, it would ultimately be for the NMC council to approve. “The NMC council would have to decide whether it’s the right thing for the NMC to do but… I believe we could do it,” she said.

However, she noted that the job could be given to another regulator, such as the Health and Care Professions Council.

She acknowledged that the NMC had held “conversations” with the Department of Health about the new role, but stated that “nobody has said to us, will you regulate them”.

“There’s a risk in the title nursing associate of misleading the public if that role is not regulated”

Jackie Smith

She noted that if the role was fully regulated, those employed in it would be “subject to exactly the same regime” as registered nurses, regarding revalidation, fitness to practise and standards.

Ms Smith also confirmed that if it was asked to fully regulate the role, it would charge a fee.

“If it’s full regulation, by us or another regulator, then obviously it would attract a registration fee – it would have to,” she said.

“You couldn’t expect registered nurses to pay for somebody else on the register who might be earning a slightly different salary but effectively getting regulation for free.”

  • 8 Comments

Readers' comments (8)

  • More money for young Jackie!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Hahaha! Thanks NT, I needed a laugh tonight.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • michael stone

    I think this might be 'slightly muddled' - for example, there is an 'awful lot of complexity' in:

    'If this person is being supervised, delegated to in any way by a registered nurse or is working in parallel with a registered nurse, then it would make sense for the NMC to do [regulate] it.'

    But, I agree with:

    'Speaking ahead of the expected consultation, NMC chief executive and registrar Jackie Smith said Health Education England and the government would need to be “clear” about their ideas for three “critical” factors affecting the role – its education pathway, standards and regulation.

    In particular, she called for ministers and HEE to be transparent over whether it would be regulated, in order not to “mislead the public”.'

    Although 'nursing associate' isn't in fact, a title which includes the word 'nurse'.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Talk about going round in circles just thinking State Enrolled Nurse?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • michael stone

    Well, most people consider the circle to be 'the nicest' geometrical shape.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • ...what goes round comes round...

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Ok, let me get this straight. The are creating a 'new' role that will be done as an apprenticeship... same as the AP, need a foundation degree... same as the AP, potentially be a band 4... same as the AP, bridge the gap between bands2/3-5... same as the AP, work along side the RGN... same as the AP... hang on, this sounds just like the AP role? Oh wait, they can't do as much as an AP... yet the NMC will regulate them and not us?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Two words: Assistant Practitioner.
    They already exist.
    What is this gibberish?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.