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Warning over NMC rule change for lapsed registration


Nurses and midwives who fail to renew their registration on time could face weeks out of work under new rules from the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

From November those who allow their registration to lapse will no longer be able to take advantage of a grace period in which they can pay their fee or submit documentation late but still be authorised to work again within a couple of days.

Instead, they will be removed from the register immediately and will have to go through a formal process of readmission, which takes up to six weeks to complete. 

In this interim period, nurses and midwives will not be permitted to work. This is because they are legally required to be on the NMC register in order to practise.

“A small number regularly allow their registration to lapse, which often causes difficulty with their employers “

NMC spokeswoman

Currently, a “small number” of people regularly allow their registration to lapse, according to the NMC.

The change in rules comes at the same time a new system of three-yearly competency checks is expected to be introduced.

From April, revalidation is due to be implemented, which it has been predicted could result in tens of thousands of nurses and midwives seeing their registration lapse.

The NMC said it was changing the rules on renewing registrations to “simplify the process and ensure consistency”, which will allow it to introduce quarterly instalments for fee payments from April 2016.

It said it was aware that under the current system – which allows fees to be paid and documentation submitted within three months of lapsed registration – some nurses and midwives continued to practise.

“The vast majority of nurses and midwives pay their fee in a conscientious and timely way. A small number regularly allow their registration to lapse, which often causes difficulty with their employers who may take disciplinary action and restrict their practice or suspend them without pay,” said an NMC spokeswoman.

Computer data

Registrants must renew their registration every three years

“Diligent employers have been mitigating the numbers of people who work while their registration is lapsed by suspending their practice. Some employers, though, have not been dealing with it,” the spokeswoman added.

Commenting on the changes, the Royal College of Nursing warned registrants that continuing to work while not on the register was a criminal offence and could result in suspension from work.

It urged all nurses and midwives to keep on top of their registration with the NMC and pay their fees in advance to avoid this happening.

Nurses and midwives are required to retain their registration every year by paying a fee.

Every three years they must, in addition, provide documentation showing they have met the regulator’s requirements to practise, which is known as registration renewal.

From April 2016, a new system of registration renewal is expected to be introduced.

Revalidation, which replaces the current post-registration education and practice (PREP), will require nurses and midwives to submit online evidence that they have met a number of extra requirements, such as having had a professional development conversation and having received feedback on their practice.

At the NMC’s most recent council meeting in July, it was noted that 6% of the 2,100 nurses and midwives who piloted the new system did not complete revalidation.

The regulator is yet to reveal the reasons behind this.

One member of the NMC council said it was a “fairly awful thought” that if the same proportion failed to revalidate when the system was introduced, this would mean 40,000 people’s registration lapsing, making them unable to work.


Readers' comments (34)

  • I agree with registration and obviously pay my fees on time, don't get me wrong!!!!!
    I wonder if it is all worth it, I love being a nurse, I am a good nurse and my patients mean the world to me.
    I have just worked 6 l/d's in a row, even got asked today if I would go in on my day off, I am constantly under pressure with paperwork, auditing etc, leaving little time for patients.
    Managers are always saying you have to do this and that, worry about your PIN,
    the money is definitely mediocre in comparison with the stress.
    I say watch out NMC or you won't have any nurses, except those that can't speak English.

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  • Well said

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  • no and the nmc are very slow to process it

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  • Thank goodness I am retired. If I had to do all this on top of all the paperwork that seems obligatory these days I would certainly have left the profession much as I loved caring for sick patients.

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  • "... except those that can't speak English."

    What a vicious little swipe at the end there! You should have a little more empathy with your colleagues, wherever they come from. I'm sure if a fellow nurse needed professional help you'd give it, so why are you unwilling to help with language?

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  • It wasn't meant to be vicious, it all adds to the frustration, not being able to read reports, nurses that refer to Mrs Smith as he,
    not understanding a word they are on about. I work with people suffering with dementia, so if I can't understand, how do they stand a chance.
    Believe it or not, I am the most helpful person where I work and ALL the nurses come to me for help, which gives me less time to complete my work, but I always help.

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  • Is it all worth it, paperwork, paperwork, not to mention mentoring and sign off mentor paperwork, no time allowed for this.. We take home students work books, against our better judgement just to get them signed off on time. How wil we ever cope with extra work...and look after our patients and their families. Still I suppose they have fallen down the pecking order.

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  • I voted with my feet and left 2 years ago. Best career decision I ever made and haven't regretted it even once. If I'm adult enough to take charge of a ward with 30+ patients and often hold the bleep for 4-6 wards then I am bright enough not to be treated like some recalcitrant schoolgirl when I don't agree to work extra hours or object to filling in (yet another) meaningless tick-box that usually duplicates one already in use but phrased slightly differently. My registration has lapsed - I couldn't even be bothered to inform the NMC - and I'll go on the dole before I return. (ex ward sister/ nurse practitioner/ deputy ward manager/dogsbody)

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  • Seems to penalise nurses who are off sick and unable to re validate in time.

    'One member of the NMC council said it was a “fairly awful thought” that if the same proportion failed to revalidate when the system was introduced, this would mean 40,000 people’s registration lapsing, making them unable to work.'

    I don' t imagine the nmc cares or would do anything to facilitate the situation.

    I lapsed my membership as I was also registered in my country of work and did'nt bother informing the nmc when I retired. If they were interested they would bother to find out!

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  • An Inconvenient Truth

    My goodness. One of the most powerful contributions I have ever seen on any nursing subject is above. The contribution from the ex "ward sister, nurse practitioner and deputy ward manager" who having been allowed to reach breaking point let her registration lapse without even bothering to let the NMC know. She states she would rather go on the dole than return!!

    Is this what things have come to?

    Is anyone from the NMC listening?. Does anyone from the NMC even give a damn about the levels of disquiet and concern expressed by experienced nurses in these forums?? How many long-serving nurses are now in the profession only because they cannot afford to walk away from the profession they once loved?

    Also please don't castigate the nurse for expressing concerns about those who can't speak English. I know exactly what is mean't here. There's nothing "viscious" here at all.I have lost count of the number of foreign nurses giving - their word - "endorsements" who use "he/she" interchangeably when discussing patients

    Only this week I met an NHS charge nurse in orthopaedics for the first time in a social situation who after finding out I was also in the profession confided quietly that he now "hated" his job and would walk away if he could afford to.

    Is anybody listening? Does anyone care a damn?

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