NMC chief executive Professor Dickon Weir-Hughes has said the nursing regulator is looking at ways to regulate advanced nurses without legislative change.
Rather than a separate register for advanced nurses, the NMC is understood to be looking at an option to ‘annotate' nurses on the register with an asterisk showing that they are practising at an advanced level.
The NMC has already had a meeting with the RCN. ‘We are really encouraged by their support and glad that things are now moving forward,' said Steve Jamieson, head of nursing at the RCN.
The NMC will look at the core competences that must be developed to underpin regulation, Mr Jamieson said.
A draft RCN statement issued in November that the case was ‘compelling' for regulating and standardising advanced nurse roles is now out for comment in the college.
Ghislaine Young, a committee member of the RCN Advanced Nurse Practitioner forum, said the move is ‘a great step forward'.
‘Introducing an annotation could be a lot quicker than legislative change.'
‘We need to define who we are and what standard we've reached so the public know. The big worry is the unconsciously incompetent.'
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