The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has published its annual report and accounts for 2016/17 as well as its fitness to practise annual report, which reveal abundant changes to nursing regulation.
The reports, which cover the year 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017, revealed that in the past year the NMC has seen more than 200,000 nurses and midwives successfully revalidate within the first year of the new process.
The regulator completed 98% of UK registration applications within 10 days and 94% of EU/overseas applications within their target of 68 days.
A year of change
During the year, the NMC has also launched a consultation on its new proposed pre-registration education standards and agreed to regulate the new nursing associate role in England, after being asked by the Government.
Following the consultation, the new education standards will be ready for early adoption from September 2018 and full rollout by September 2019.
It was also decided that from 28 July, NMC case examiners will get new powers that will make the fitness to practise process more proportionate and efficient.
The NMC also worked with its chief nursing officers across the four countries to make sure that the ‘positive elements’ of midwifery supervision were kept when supervision was removed from its legislation.
Nurses were given the option this year to pay their annual NMC registration fee by quarterly instalments for the first time.
NMC chief executive and registrar Jackie Smith said: ‘The first year of revalidation has been a huge success. Early indications show it has had an overwhelmingly positive impact on nurses and midwives – improving their knowledge and bringing the Code to life and we continue to receive extremely positive feedback on the process.
‘In December 2016 we also received our most positive review to date from the Professional Standards Authority (PSA). The review recognised the significant progress we have made as an organisation and praised us for our introduction of revalidation and the improvements we have made to our fitness to practise function.
The organisation will continue to ‘build on the landmark achievements of this year,’ Ms Smith added, and continue to push for ‘crucial changes’ to its regulatory framework to become a more ‘efficient and modern regulator, better equipped to protect the public’.