Nursing School Interview Hot Topic: The NMC


The Nursing and Midwifery Council has four principle aims. Firstly, it maintains the register of nurses and midwives who meet the requirements for registration in the UK, and nursing associates who meet the requirements for registration in England. Secondly, it set the requirements for the universities that provide the professional education of its nurses and midwives, to ensure that nurses and midwives are able to develop the requisite knowledge, skills and behaviour to be registered. Thirdly, it develops and promotes the standards of Nursing in the UK and promotes lifelong learning through the practice of revalidation. Lastly, if serious concerns are raised about one of its members, it can investigate and if necessary take action through a fitness to practice tribunal.

The NMC regulates 660,000 nurses across the UK, and focuses on ‘compassionate, evidence based and person-centred care.’
The NMC defines itself using the following overall values, and explains that these values and behaviours should be seen as crucial to the culture of nurses, the work of nurses, and how this work is done.

The first value is fairness, with the NMC saying, ‘we treat everyone fairly. Fairness is at the heart of our role as a trusted, transparent regulator and employer’ Second is kindness, and the NMC says ‘we act with kindness and in a way that values people, their insights, situations and experiences.’ Next is ambition – ‘we take pride in our work. We’re open to new ways of working and always aim to do our best for the professionals on our register, the public we serve and each other.’ Last is collaboration, which the NMC expands by saying that, ‘we value our relationships and recognise that we’re at our best when we work well with others.’

The NMC for Nurses

Nurses have their own section of the NMC register, and their own standards for education and proficiencies. The NMC is focused on ensuring that their standards keep nurses to a high professional level, that they keep up to date with changes in healthcare and society as a whole, that the professionals of the future are well equipped with all necessary skills and knowledge, and that nurses are able to work competently with diverse communities, challenge discrimination, and are able to address the health inequalities present in today’s society.

The NMC’s Purpose and Vision

The NMC outlines its purpose as promoting and upholding ‘the highest professional standards in nursing and midwifery to protect the public and inspire confidence in the professions.’ Through fulfilling their purpose, the NMC is able to realise its vision. That vision is ‘safe, effective and kind nursing and midwifery practice, improving everyone’s health and wellbeing.”

The NMC’s 5 Year Plan

The NMC has a strategy for the five years from 2020 to 2025, which centres around three core areas: regulation, support, and influence. They will look to promote and uphold their existing high standards, continue to maintain the register, and continue to investigate any poor professional behaviour. They will support their professionals proactively, ensuring that they strike the correct balance between investigating poor practice and promoting excellence. Lastly, they will look to influence the development of health and social care, through working collaboratively with their partners. If you are interested in public health or becoming a leader in the profession in future, consider their strategic themes for the coming years – these were produced in association with nurses, midwives, and the public. They will be the frame upon which the 5 year period is planned and built, and are: improvement and innovation; proactive support for the professions; to be more visible and informed; engaging and empowering the public, professionals and partners; and insight and influence.

Potential questions which may be asked in the interview

  • What is the NMC?
  • What is the role of the NMC?
  • How is the NMC looking to lead the Nursing profession over the next few years?
  • What role of the NMC do you think is most important?
  • Does the NMC look after professionals or the public, or both?

How to answer questions on this topic

Try to find a particular part of the NMC’s guidance that resonates with you and remember it, as well as remembering a rough framework of their overall purpose. If you can talk in a bit more detail about one area, it will be apparent that you were genuinely interested in their role and guidance, rather than that you have just learnt what they do verbatim.

Further Reading....

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