The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) will review post-registration standards after a review found it to have resulted in a ‘patchwork’ of advanced practice education. 

The external evaluation of the NMCs post-registration standards highlighted a limited understanding and lack of clarity around the standards, parts of which have not been updated since 2004.  The report focussed especially on post-registration standards for nurses who want to join the SCPHN part of the register. 

The report found a ‘patchwork’ of different specialist education across the UK, in part due to universities making up for deficiencies in NMC standards by incorporating competencies produced by other bodies such as the Queen’s Nursing Institute. 

As a result, the NMC has announced that it is reconsidering the role it plays in regulation beyond initial registration of nurses, midwives and nursing associates. It also admitted that there was a ‘degree of confusion and complexity’ around how its register is structured and annotated. 

Further consultation will be undertaken by the NMC including with specialist community public health nurse (SCPHN) and those with specialist practice qualifications (SPQs). 

Anne Trotter, assistant director of education and standards at the NMC, said: ‘Our review of post registration standards is part of our wider education change programme, which also includes our work on the Future Nurse Standards and Future Midwife Standards.  

‘As part of this, it is right that we consider our role in regulating advanced practice as we have heard some people are keen there is additional regulation for advanced practice, while others don’t think that’s necessary or appropriate.  

‘We will continue to explore what it is people think professional regulation should be doing. We will also consider this as we develop our future Strategy for 2020 and beyond.’

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