The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has said that it does not expect its existing registrants to foot the bill for nursing associate’s regulation.
Responding to a consultation from Health Education England (HEE) on the new role, the nurse regulator has said that nurse associates would have to pay a fee to be regulated.
It read: “The cost of regulation is traditionally borne by the individual and therefore the creation of this role, with statutory regulation, would require a registration fee to be paid. If the NMC is asked to regulate nursing associates we do not expect our existing registrants to subsidise the regulation of the new role.”
This comes after, last December, a new role to bridge the gap between healthcare support workers, who have a care certificate, and registered nurses was announced by health minister Ben Gummer.
Provisionally called nursing associates, they will work alongside healthcare support workers and fully qualified nurses focusing on patient care, the Department of Health announced at the time.
In their response, the NMC said they are “confident” that they could effectively regulate the role, and that the cost of regulation needs to be considered.
However, regardless of whether the new role is regulated, the NMC said the nursing associate would have implications for nursing to which the NMC would need to respond to.
· In terms of education, a new ‘stepping off’ point at nursing associate level would have to be formalised.
· The capacity of the system to support the education of trainees for the new role would have to be considered (placements, mentors, and so on).
· There may need to be “protected functions” that only a registered nurse can do.
· The NMC code could change with regards to delegation and accountability.
Read the full response here.