Nurses struggle to live up to NMC code of conduct

Nurses have warned they may struggle to live up to standards set out in a revised NMC code of conduct because support is lacking from some employers.

But the code warns nurses they should blow the whistle where employers create conditions that put patients at risk. 

Overarching themes in the code, published today, call on nurses to make care of people their first concern, to work with others to promote health and wellbeing, adhere to high standards and be open and honest. 

More detailed guidance includes a warning that nurses ‘must take part in appropriate learning and practice activities that maintain and develop your competence and performance’. 

RCN primary care adviser Lynn Young warned that some employers fail to offer nurses enough time off or support for professional development. 

‘There is always a conflict between the aspirations and values of the nursing profession and the environment in which they work,’ Ms Young said. 

'Training is particularly an issue in general practice.' 

The NMC hopes nurses will be able to use the code to challenge employers where they fail to offer them the support they need to adhere to its principles.

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