The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) defines competencies to be attained by nursing students within one of the four branches:
- mental health
- learning disabilities
- children's nursing.
Midwives have their own part of the register and their own education and practice standards. Achieving the required standards means that you are ‘fit to practise' and eligible for registration which, in turn, assures the public that you have a minimum set of knowledge, skills and competencies for safe and effective practice. Employers and the public can verify that you have current effective registration with the NMC.
The key purpose of registration is to protect the public rather than you, the registrant. The process maintains a ‘live' register that can be accessed by employers and the public who need to ascertain that the nurses and midwives whose services they wish to use are ‘fit to practise'. You'll need to renew your registration each year and pay an annual fee to do so. Every three years you'll need to complete the revalidation process to confirm that you have met the post-registration education and practice requirements.
What is the procedure for registration?
- If you trained in the UK your education provider will confirm to the NMC that you have successfully completed an approved course, and will also submit a declaration confirming your good health and good character.
- You are advised to create an account with NMC Online. You can then pay the registration fee and complete an application form online. At this point, you must declare any police cautions or criminal convictions. It’s a good idea to undertake this process early on. If you apply more than six months after qualifying, you’ll be asked to provide a further reference from a registered nurse or midwife. When your application has been processed you will be sent a statement of entry to the register.
When will I need to re-register with the NMC?
You will be required to revalidate your registration every three years. The current requirements are 35 hours of learning activity (continuing professional development) and 450 hours of practice over the three years preceding revalidation. You will need to keep a record to show that you have met these requirements. For more information and guidance, see NMC Online.