The Nursing and Midwifery Council is considering the removal of time limits for the completion of education programmes for students.
The regulator has today launched a consultation on revoking education standards with maximum time limits.
Currently, student nurses and midwives are required to finish full-time programmes within five years and part-time programmes within seven years in order to be eligible for registration.
“Removing time limits from our education standards would ensure that education institutions provide flexibility for students”
The NMC proposes to remove these time limits from its standards, transferring full responsibility for the management of education programmes to lie with education institutions.
Post-registration programmes, which are currently given time limits either by the NMC or by the specific education institution, will also be affected by the proposed changes.
The removal of time limits enables greater flexibility for students ensuring that no individual is disadvantaged if unforeseen events interrupt their studies, said the NMC.
The education institutions are “best placed” to oversee students’ involvement in their programmes, the regulator said in consultation documents proposing the change.
Jackie Smith, NMC chief executive and registrar, said: “This is an important consultation and we are keen to hear views.
“Removing time limits from our education standards would ensure that education institutions provide flexibility for students without compromising public protection,” she said.
The consultation on the proposed changes will take place between 15 January and 12 March.