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NMC called to clarify the responsibility, authority and accountability of Nursing Associates

The Nursing and Midwifery Council has started to draw up professional standards for Nursing Associates but many call for clarity. 

Image from the RCN

The Nursing and Midwifery Council has started to draw up professional standards for Nursing Associates but many call for clarity.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is currently the educational and professional standards of practice for the new nursing associate role but many have called for further clarification on accountability rather than clinical ability.

The nursing associate role is currently being piloted by Health Education England (HEE) with 2,000 nursing associates due to qualify in January 2019 and will be regulated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

NMC council member and Executive Nurse Director at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, Ruth Walker, has said that an important part of the NMC’s work on the Nursing Associate role would be to clarify what level of responsibility, authority and accountability the associates had – rather than just stating the tasks they should be able to complete.

She went on to explain that; “we need to understand whether it’s the registrant we are holding to account for the delegation of tasks or the nursing associate in their own right“.

Poor planning and a lack of definition from HEE or the NMC has lead to increased anxiety with Registered Nurses around the introduction of the new role.

The NMC plans a formal consultation on the standards and code this spring.