The Nursing and Midwifery Council are the regulatory body for nursing and midwifery throughout Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The NMC was established to provide protection for members of the public. They set out high standards for training, education, performance and conduct to ensure that those employed in nursing and midwifery roles are able to deliver high levels of quality healthcare through all their careers.
The Council ensures all nurses and midwives continue to improve their knowledge and skills and adhere to the standards outlined by them. They follow through on transparent and clear processes in order to investigate any midwives and nurses fall short of the outlined standards and maintain a register of qualified midwives and nurses who are legally allowed to perform in those roles throughout the UK.
Their Mission and Values
Their mission is to provide protection for the public and do it by ensuring all those who meet their requirements are able and legally allowed to practise midwifery and nursing throughout the UK. They take appropriate actions if there are concerns raised about whether a midwife or nurse is fit to practise.
- People – They believe they matter
- Fairness – They act with integrity and are always consistent
- Transparency – They are always honest and open
Proficiency Standards for Registered Nurses
The Council has revised proficiency standards that represent the attributes, knowledge and skills that all nurses should be able to demonstrate.
There are now seven different platforms contained in the new proficiency standards for registered nurses that are vital to understand as they:
- Represent the attributes, skills and knowledge all registered nurses should be able to demonstrate while caring for people in all care settings and of all age groups
- Are a reflection of public expectation of what nurses know and can do to deliver an effective, compassionate and safe service of care.
- Provide an appropriate benchmark for all nurses from oversees, whether it’s the EU, EEA or elsewhere who are looking to join the NMC register.
- Provide a benchmark for individuals who are planning to return to work after taking time away from the profession
The Seven Platforms
The seven platforms set out within the new proficiency standards are:
- Being a fully accountable professional
- Promotion of health and the prevention of ill health
- Assessing the needs of patients and making a plan of care
- Providing and also evaluating care
- Working in teams and leading/managing care
- Improving the quality of care and safety
- Co-ordinating care successfully and effectively
Competence Standards for Midwives
The Council outlines that all midwives must be able to demonstrate sufficient competencies in four main areas:
Effective Midwifery Practice
- Effective communication with women and families through the following periods: pre-conception, antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal.
- Diagnosis of pregnancy and the holistic monitoring and assessment of women throughout each stage of pregnancy, as outlined above, with the use of various methods of assessment. This is done to reach comprehensible, reliable and valid conclusions.
- Determine the programmes of support and care to provide for women
- Providing seamless levels of care and interventions, where appropriate, in partnership with the women and other providers of care during the antenatal period.
- Referring women who could benefit from the knowledge and skills of other individuals
- Support, monitor and care for women while they are in labour and continuously monitor the condition of their foetus, while supporting any spontaneous births that occur.
- Undertaking the proper emergency procedures so they can meet women and their babies’ health needs
- Care and examine babies after birth
- Work in a partnership with the women and other providers of care, giving seamless interventions and care during the postnatal period.
- Care and examine babies with specialist social or health needs and refer to other agencies and professionals as necessary.
- Monitor and care for women during the puerperium, providing evidence-based support and advice about babies and caring for themselves
- Administer, Acquire and select the appropriate and permitted drugs as outlined in legislation, applying skills and knowledge to the current situation.
Professional and Ethical Practice
- Practise fully in accordance with the appropriate code, following the standards of this, performance and conduct for midwives and nurses. This should be done within the limitations of the competency of the individual, their sphere of professional practice and knowledge and in line with the legislation related to midwifery practice.
- Practise in a way that supports, promotes and respects the cultures, beliefs, preferences, interests and rights of individuals.
- Practise in line with all appropriate legislation
- Always maintaining the confidentiality of information
- Working collaboratively with a wide range of healthcare agencies and teams
- Prioritise and manage competing demands
- Provide support for the creation of environments that are suitable for promoting the well-being, safety and health of babies, women and all others, as well as providing support for the maintenance of these environments too.
- Contribute to the evaluation and further development of policies and guidelines and propose recommendations for changes with regards to babies, women and the families involved.
Developing the Individual Midwife and Others
- Develop, review and enhance the fitness to practise, skills and knowledge of midwives
- Demonstrate the ability to work effectively in different professional boundaries and develop different professional networks.
Achieving Quality Care Through Research and Evaluation
- Apply knowledge that’s relevant to a midwife’s practice in ways that are structured and easy to evaluate
- Develop and inform their own practice and that of others by making use of the most accurate evidence available and reflecting on the practice
- Develop and manage care by utilising the best IT systems
- Contribute to practice audits to enhance the care received by babies, women and the families.