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NMC publishes revised code of conduct


Prioritise people, practise effectively, preserve safety and promote professionalism are the four “statements” of the revised Nursing and Midwifery Council code of conduct, which is published today.

The new code will be sent to all nurses and midwives before it becomes effective on 31 March 2015.

It will also apply to all student nurses and midwives from this date - replacing their current separate guidelines - so that standards for conduct are consistent with qualified nurses and midwives.

The code was approved by the NMC council in December and has now been released in full. It builds on the content of the current version, which was published in 2008.

“It is essential that the code reflects patients’ needs, modern healthcare practice, and the recommendations of reviews such as the Francis Inquiry”

Jackie Smith

NMC chief executive and registrar Jackie Smith said: “Public expectations of care have changed radically since the code was last reviewed in 2008. It is essential that the code reflects patients’ needs, modern healthcare practice, and the recommendations of reviews such as the Francis Inquiry.”

The code will be central to revalidation, which is a series of three-yearly checks that the NMC is introducing at the end of 2015.

Unions have welcomed the new code, saying they hope it will improve patient care.

“The code…will become even more central as nurses revalidate their registration against it in a new process”

Peter Carter

The Royal College of Midwives and the Royal College of Nursing both pointed to the code’s greater focus on raising concerns.

The RCM also highlighted the importance of other updated sections such as those on the professional duty of candour, the use of social media and networking sites and a great emphasis on compassionate care.

RCM director for midwifery Louise Silverton said: “The code provides mothers and service-users with a measure of what they can expect in terms of professional care from midwives and nurses and provides a benchmark against which they can provide feedback regarding the care they receive.

“We hope the new and revised measures will help improve care for mothers, babies and families.”  


Peter Carter

Peter Carter, chief executive and general secretary of the RCN, said: “The NMC code is a critical document which is fundamental to the nursing profession, and it must reflect the realities and diversity of nursing and midwifery in the 21st century.”

He added: “The NMC code has always been at the heart of the nursing profession, and it will become even more central as nurses revalidate their registration against it in a new process.

“It is important that the pilots of this new process are monitored closely and any lessons are learned to make sure this important code continues to support the nursing profession.”


Readers' comments (6)

  • how did ms Jackie get this job and what does she know about nursing

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  • Re: Anonymous | 29-Jan-2015 7:45 pm.
    Are you serious? Do you not know about your professional regulator? Save your brickbats for your government.

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  • anonymous 9-29

    Calm down sweetie!!!-she might have a law degree and worked for GMC -what does she know about being a nurse??? HELLO

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  • yet again the francis inquiry is used as a bit stick. We all have high expectations of ourselves and care for our patients now - but lets reword the code of conduct so it 'looks' like we're doing something different. If you don't provide safe and professional care now this will not change you.
    Also it sounds like something from Harry Potter 'We must preserve that which should be preserved' and hogwarts was being taken over by a mad woman - isn't there an election coming up ......

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  • How can you prioritise people and raise concerns you have if you work in a nursing home that argues continuously over every penny they spend.Even though rooms are often £1000 a week the owners/managers begrudge every penny spent on residents.
    "Find another nursing home then, that isn't motivated by profit" do you suggest?
    Every time I go to an interview I hear
    "We always put residents here first" - until you ask for an air mattress!
    How can you prioritise people in an NHS who doesn't care enough about patients they put them at risk daily with staff cutbacks, budget cutbacks,inability to fill vacancies,sets unrealistic,politically correct targets and gets sued left right and centre on a daily basis for 'failing to provide adequate care.

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  • bit long winded and does it say any more than the previous code which is succinct and act as a useful reminder. It also follows the international code published by the ICN.

    it could be a useful learning tool for undergraduate nurses hoping to enter the profession to learn what is expected from them but all these standards would be expected of any qualified and registered nurse.

    It could also be of interest, as suggested, to the public for consultation to see whether the care they receive matches their expectations.

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