Critical exploration of the new NMC future nurse : standards of proficiency for registered nurses

JA Leigh, D Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)



Following a two year process that included consulting and working alongside key stakeholder groups such as students, educators, healthcare professionals, charities and patient groups from across the UK, The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) launched their Future nurse: Standards of proficiency for registered nurses (NMC 2018a). These new and compulsory standards are available for use in curricula by Approved Education Institutions (AEI?s) from the 28th January 2019. Only students who are part way through their pre-registration programme having commenced at an AEI prior to January 2019 will continue on the existing curriculum with the current NMC standards.

The NMC refer to the standards as:
?Ambitious new standards that set out the skills and knowledge the next generation of nurses will learn to enable them to deliver world class care? (NMC 2018b).

The standards are set out in three parts:
Part 1: Standards framework for nursing and midwifery education- this document provides a framework of five headings that underpin nurse education and training: Learning culture Educational governance and quality Student learning and empowerment Educators and assessors Curricula and assessment Part 2: Standards for student supervision and assessment- this document sets out the expectations for the learning, support, supervision and assessment (of theory and practice) of students in the practice environment.

Part 3: Programme standards, which are the standards specific for each pre-registration or post-registration programme- this document set out the legal requirements for all pre-registration nursing education programmes.

Collectively the three documents contain proficiencies that specify the knowledge and skills that registered nurses must demonstrate when caring for people of all ages and across all care settings, reflecting what the public can expect nurses to know and be able to do in order to deliver safe, compassionate and effective nursing care. A key message and something which remains consistent with the current pre-registration standards is the fundamental requirement for partnerships between Approved Education Institutions (AEIs) and healthcare organizations to provide the practice based learning for the student nurses:

?(AEIs) are responsible for working with practice learning partners to manage the quality of their educational programmes. Overall responsibility for the day-to-day management of the quality of any educational programme lies with an AEI in partnership with practice learning partners who provide opportunities for practice experience to nursing and midwifery students? (NMC 2018a:4).

This paper focuses on Part 2: standards for student support and assessment, exploring the key differences between the new and old sets of standards. We offer some personal perspectives about the potential impact of these new standards, particularly around the personnel responsible for supervising and assessing students in clinical practice and the potential preparation for the role. Partnership between AEIs and its practice partners are also explored.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1068
JournalBritish Journal of Nursing
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2018


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