A petition calling for the fee to be waived has gained significant support.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has confirmed it has no plans to either waive or reduce its annual registration fee.
Registered nurses, midwives, and nursing associates are required to pay a £120 annual registration fee to the NMC in order to maintain their professional registration and be allowed to practice.
A petition calling for this fee to be waived due to the COVID-19 pandemic has gained significant support.
It reads; “The year 2020 is meant for celebrating the international year of the nurse and midwife is now a year of international mourning.
“To continue to support our frontline staff, we are pleading to the UK parliament to appeal to the ‘Nursing and Midwifery Council’ to waive 2020’s annual registration fee of £120 as a gesture of their continuous support for the profession.
The registrar has since responded explaining why they are unable to waive or reduce the fee – but insists they plan on keeping it £120 for as long as financially viable.
Your licence to practise.
Critics point out that over the past ten years the fee has risen at a higher percentage than the wages registrants.
Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Executive and Registrar for the NMC wrote; “I completely understand the desire to recompense and reward our professionals for the amazing things they’re doing during the response to Covid19 but I’m afraid waiving or reducing the fee is not something we plan to do.”
Adding; “The registration fee is an important part of being a registered health or social care professional and nurses, midwives and nursing associates are not alone in paying it. All other registered health or social care professionals in the UK also pay a fee. It is essentially your licence to practise.
“Charging a fee is a statutory requirement, part of the legal framework that sets out what we do and how we do it – changing that requires the approval of parliament.
“A key reason the fee is important to the NMC is that it’s our only source of income – we don’t rely on government funding for our regular activities of setting standards, maintaining the register, supporting revalidation and running fitness to practise.”