The Nursing and Midwifery Council has announced that nurses will have an additional three months to complete revalidation.
This forms part of the nursing regulator’s move to prioritise ‘core regulatory functions’ during the coronavirus outbreak, meaning some services may be stopped or modified.
The NMC will also postpone fitness to practise hearings and no new ones will be scheduled until further notice.
It will now seek ‘further flexibility from the Government’ around revalidation deadlines, it said in plans published on its website.
As of Thursday, there are 3,269 confirmed coronavirus cases in the UK and 144 patients have died.
NMC chief executive Andrea Sutcliffe said: ‘The NMC will be affected by reductions in our capacity as our colleagues may be ill, have to self-isolate or care for others.
‘It is therefore important that we prioritise the work we do to protect the public and promote public confidence in nursing and midwifery,’ she added.
‘We also need to recognise the impact of government guidance to minimise the spread of the virus and the incredible pressure people who work with us are under.’
Earlier this week, the NMC announced it would put in place changes to allow retired nurses and student nurses to undertake paid work to help tackle coronavirus.