The Nursing and Midwifery Council will stage a 12 week consultation from 9 April about how the role of nursing associates should be regulated.
It wants to hear from nurses, would-be associates and employers if the council approves the consultation at its meeting in London on March 28.
The first trainees from the test sites are due to qualify in 2019.
The consultation will look at standards of proficiency, education and pre-registration training programmes for the two year foundation course. The proficiency standards cover:
- Being an accountable professional.
- Promoting health and preventing ill health.
- Providing and monitoring care.
- Working in teams.
- Improving safety and quality of care.
- Contributing to integrated care.
It will also ask stakeholders about extending the NMC’s current regulatory tools to nursing associates. Stakeholders will be consulted on changes to The Code of professional standards, which will include associates.
The nursing regulator said its powers do not extend to specifying tasks that only nurses can do or that nursing associates cannot do.
But they added: ‘We have developed standards of proficiency that we believe distinguish the proficiencies of the nurse and the nursing associate at the point of registration.
‘The differences between the professions we regulate should be clearly discernible in the standards of proficiency, but we hold the same expectations of professional behaviour from all of our registrants’
There have already been three consultations on the new role – one on the set-up, another on giving the NMC powers to regulate nursing associates, and one on fees.
In February, the NMC draft standards of proficiency revealed that nursing associates will be expected to administer certain medications, as well as recognise and respond to any adverse reactions.