The Nursing and Midwifery Council say regulation for nursing associates is getting closer and is expected by July 2018.
The consultation follows the decision of the NMC's Council to agree to regulate the new role, following a request from the Secretary of State for Health in January 2017.
Earlier this month the NMC released it's draft standards of proficiency for Nursing Associates.
Jackie Smith, NMC Chief Executive and Registrar, said:
"This consultation is a vital step towards the NMC becoming the regulator of nursing associates.
“It’s always been our ambition to open the register to nursing associates in January 2019, when the first trainees qualify. But in order to do so, it’s critical that Government drives through the necessary changes to our legislation, to ensure that we’re able to protect the public from the moment the first qualified nursing associates begin to practise.”
The NMC expects the necessary changes to its legislation to come into force by July 2018. This will give the regulator six months until the first trainees qualify to complete the activities that need to be in place in order to open the register. This includes approving the NMC’s Rules and fees, approval of the final nursing associate standards and approval of nursing associates programme providers.
The consultation, Regulation of Nursing Associates in England, will run from 16 October to 26 December.