The NMC accepts that through meeting post registration education and practice (prep) standards, registered nurses and midwives will develop their knowledge, skills and competence beyond their initial registration throughout their careers. For this reason, The NMC does not place any boundaries on the roles of nurses or midwives in relation to the parts of the register and fields of practice. The exception is in relation to midwifery - only a registered and practising midwife who has notified their intention to practice to a local supervising authority may provide midwifery advice and care.
Nurses and midwives must always be aware of the limits of their ability and role boundaries, acknowledge their professional limitations and make accountable decisions about their ability to practise in a safe and effective manner. As a nurse or midwife they are accountable for the care they give as well as the decisions they make. This is reflected in the following paragraphs of The Code (2008) which states that nurses and midwives must:
38 Have the knowledge and skills for safe and effective practice when working without direct supervision.
39 Recognise and work within the limits of your competence.
40 Keep your knowledge and skills up to date throughout your working life.
41 Take part in appropriate learning and practice activities that maintain and develop your competence and performance.
Nurses and midwives considering working or being employed in positions not related to their original registration entry code and field of practice must ensure they do not mislead patients or employers into thinking they possess a registerable qualification they have not acquired. For example although a registered nurse (adult) may work in a mental health environment, they must not claim to be a registered nurse qualified in mental health nursing.
This information was updated May 2012.
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