COMMONS

Nursing

Inquiry status: Oral and written evidence published

1. Questions around standards and compassion in nursing have been prominent as a result of the Mid Staffordshire foundation trust public inquiry, the publication of the Department of Health’s nursing strategy, the inquiry by the Willis Commission and the publication of critical reports by the Commission on Dignity in care for Older People and Age UK.

2. In 2007 the Nursing and Midwifery Council began a consultation process on the future of pre-registration nursing. This resulted in a new set of standards being published in 2010, but in 2007 the NMC consultation reported that the public want nurses who will:

  • deliver high quality, safe, essential care to everyone and more complex care in their own field of practice;
  • practise in a compassionate, respectful way, maintaining dignity and wellbeing, and communicating effectively;
  • protect their safety and promote their wellbeing; be responsible and accountable for safe, person-centred, evidence based practice;
  • act with professionalism and integrity, and work within agreed professional, ethical and legal frameworks and processes to maintain and improve standards.

3. In 2008 it was decided by the NMC that the minimum level for
pre-registration nursing would be a bachelor degree. This will be implemented in England from September 2013. In Scotland all pre-registration education moved to degree level in 2011 and this has been the case in Wales since 2004. In England approximately 85% of nursing students currently obtain a diploma rather than a degree.

Publications

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    Glossary

    • Reports and associated evidence – Reports of Committee inquires. This category may also include Special Reports where they are used by a Committee to bring matters relating to conduct of its business to the notice of the House.
    • Responses to Reports - Responses may be published as a Special Report, or as a Command Paper. They may also be appended to a Report should the Committee have substantial comments on the Response, in which case they can be found listed under Reports. 
    • Other oral and written evidence - Evidence taken by the Committee that has yet to or did not result in the publication of a Report. This includes transcripts of recent meetings.
    • Estimate Memoranda - An Estimate memorandum is an explanatory note that accompanies a government department’s estimate (a means by which a department seeks authority from Parliament for its spending plans).
    • Correspondence - Correspondence sent from or received by the Committee or its Chair.