The imposition of a minimum three-year degree course followed by compulsory post-registration mentoring was rubber-stamped by the full NMC Council.
It backed eight education principles including rejecting nurse recruits who fail their degree course.
The theory:practice split in training will remain at 50:50 and full-time trainees will have to complete their course in five years.
The NMC principles will form the basis of an education framework with implementation planned for 2012.
The move follows a three-month consultation in which more than 3,000 nurses, members of the public and stakeholder organisations took part.
The decision to shift to a graduate profession within three years has angered Unison which has 250,000 nurse and healthcare assistant members.
‘It’s a mistake to go down the all-graduate route. The entry gate should be kept as wide as possible,’ said Gail Adams, Unison head of nursing.
Editor's blog: Making nursing a degree profession is a positive step
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