The NMC Code

The NMC code is the professional standards that nursing associates, midwives, and registered nurses must uphold while carrying out their duties. The code was established by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) in the United Kingdom to safeguard the health of the public. The NMC acts as the regulator of midwifery and nursing in Northern Island, Wales, Scotland, and England. All registered nurses, midwives, and nursing associates in these countries are expected to abide by the NMC code’s professional standards. The code is a core point of reference for all the health practitioners, and nurses must understand the expectations of the NMC.
nursing forum about the nmc code

The NMC code defines standards for the nurses and defines the roles of the Nursing & Midwifery Council. The code also guides the decisions and actions of the council members. Besides, the code represents the patients’ standards and the general public expects from health professionals. When joining or renewing registration with the NMC, nurses, and midwives commit to upholding the standards set out in the code. This commitment to is the pillar of the nursing profession. The NMC can take serious action against those who fail to act in line with the code. Such activities can include suspension and even being removed from the register.

The NMC code is a means of reinforcing professionalism. Therefore, through revalidation, registered nurses, nursing associates, and midwives, it should prove their continued ability to practice effectively and safely at all times. The code is the focal point of the process of revalidation for professional reflection. It gives meaning to the professional life of the nurses, employers, and potential employers too. The code puts service and the patient’s interest first, which promotes trust through professionalism. Besides, the code contains a series of statements that signify what good nursing practice is all about.

The NMC code has 4 four significant sections, namely:

Practice effectively
Prioritize people
Promote Professionalism and Trust
Preserve safety

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Prioritizing People

Prioritizing people implies putting the interest of people and service users first. Nurses ought to make the safety and care of patients their fundamental concern. At the same time, it is essential to make sure the patient’s needs are recognized and responded to accordingly. The people receiving care should feel their dignity preserved, their rights upheld, and are respected. Any discriminatory behavior and attitudes towards the patient under the NMC code are positively forbidden.

Registered Nurses, Midwives, and nursing associates should deliver the fundamentals of care effectively. These fundamentals of care in the NMC Code include physical handling, hydration, bladder and bowel care, hydration, nutrition, and hygiene. The Nurses should also ensure that the patients who cannot feed themselves are aided sufficiently and have adequate food and hydration access. Additionally, they ensure that any treatment and assistance is delivered without delay. The nurses should also partner with the patients to ensure they are offering them the support they need.

As a nurse, one ought to act in the best interest of people at all times. To achieve this, a nurse should balance the need to work in the patient’s best part with their right to refuse treatment by making sure the patient is adequately informed and his decision documented. In such instances, the nurse or midwife should inform colleagues, the manager, and the patient if he has a conscientious objection towards a particular procedure and arranges for a colleague or a more qualified professional to take over the patient care. However, it is essential to note that a nurse can only make a conscientious objection in particular circumstances under the NMC code

The NMC code demands that the nurses, midwives, and all the caregivers under the NMC owe the duty of confidentiality to patients to prioritize people. To successfully achieve confidentiality, nurses must respect the patient’s right to privacy in all aspects of care. Sharing patient’s information with other health professionals can only occur on the condition that interest of patient safety and public protection supersedes the need for secrecy. Sensitive information about an ongoing treatment should be shared by family and the next of kin accordingly.
Practice effectively

To practice effectively implies that registered nurses, associate nurses, and midwives must assess patients’ needs, interpret results, and advise appropriately on the treatment courses. Furthermore, they should offer optimal care on time while maintaining professional standards and communicating with the patient. ought to keep accurate records, reflect, and act on any feedback they receive to improve the nursing practice. The information given to patients relating to healthcare and services should be evidence-based, as stated in the NMC code.

Practicing effectively also includes sharing skills, knowledge, and experience to benefit the patients, colleagues, and the healthcare team. To achieve this effectively, one must give honest and accurate feedback to colleagues. It means that the information gathered should be feedback from various sources that can improve patient outcomes. Nurses should also learn to deal with differences in opinions with colleagues through informed discussions and respect other professional views as the NMC code demands.

Being accountable for your decisions and effective delegation is another way of practicing effectively according to the NMC code. Nurses, nursing associates, and midwives should delegate duties within their colleague’s scope of competence and with a clear understanding of the instructions. The tasks delegated should be adequately supervised and supported to provide safe patient care. Outcomes of the delegated task must also meet the minimum required standards by the NMC code.

Keeping clear and accurate records is another aspect of practicing effectively according to the NMC code. It applies to and is not limited to all documents relevant to your scope as nurse and patient records. All patient records should be completed as soon as the events occur. Nurses ought to identify any problems arising from treatment and deal with them so that colleagues who will use the patient’s records have all information they need to make correct decisions. The information contained in the documents must be accurate without any falsification. The nurses should also avoid using unnecessary abbreviations and jargon in patient records.

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Preserve Safely

According to the NMC code, to preserve implies that the patient’s safety must be the center of all nurse or midwife decisions. All nurses and midwives must recognize their skill and limitations and seek help when they require. Any attempt to manage patients with doubt or lack of necessary skills is dangerous for the patient. Midwives and nurses must be alert about the care process and be vigilant to lapses in safe care. The nurses, nursing associates, and midwives should identify unsafe practices and address them accordingly.

The patient and public safety should not be affected in any way. Nurses must endeavor to work within the limits of their competence while exercising their professional ‘duty of candor.’ The professional ‘duty of candor’ is about being honest and open, especially when things go wrong. Under the NMC code, every healthcare professional must be truthful and straight with patients when treatment can cause harm or distress to the patient’s health or when something has gone wrong with a particular medicine. Nurses and caregivers must also be willing to acknowledge mistakes and apologize to the affected patient and family.

As a healthcare professional, you must act without delay whenever there is a risk to public protection and patient safety. You must be able to raise and escalate any concerns you may have about a patient, the public, or any procedure that may affect service delivery. As a nurse, telling someone in authority at the first reasonable opportunity once you experience problems is highly encouraged under the NMC code. Escalation prompts action without delay and has saved many lives.

Healthcare professionals should only advise, prescribe, or provide treatment prescriptions if they know patients’ health and are qualified enough. In doing so, the health professional must keep appropriate guidelines when giving advice, especially on controlled drugs. The treatment administered and advice given to the patient should likewise be compatible with any other treatment care the patient might be receiving at the time. However, it is essential to note that prescribing drugs is not within everyone’s scope under the NMC. The NMC code permits prescribing medicines only to nurses and midwives who have completed further qualifications in defining.

Promote Professionalism and Trust

The promotion of trust and professionalism is the last section of the NMC code. It stipulates that nurses, nursing associates, and midwives’ reputations need protection at all times. A healthcare professional must uphold the professionalism values to ensure that nurses, nursing associates, and midwives remain valuable and respected members of the larger healthcare team. Nurses and midwives must lead by example and adopt all the necessary attitudes and behaviors stipulated in the NMC code. By safeguarding professionalism in daily practice, persons receiving care will be more confident in the nursing ability if they are likely to build trust in the nurse.

As a nurse, one should display a personal commitment to standards of behavior and practice outlined in the code. The nurse should be a model of leadership and integrity that others aspire. Doing so wins the trust and confidence of the public, the patients, and other healthcare professionals. Nurses and midwives should stay objective and have clear professional boundaries with patients, their families, and their careers. It can be achievable by acting with honesty and integrity, always and treating people without discrimination.

In promoting professionalism and trust, Nurses need to cooperate with all investigations and audits. The investigations and audits include those against you, those against colleagues, and those relating to the organization. , midwives, and nursing associates might also be requested to act as witnesses in hearings underlined in the NMC code. All nurses and healthcare givers under the NMC are also mandated to tell employers at first reasonable opportunity about any charge, caution, and investigations about them as soon as the NMC serves them. According to the NMC, the employer is any person, organization, or body you are employed to offer services as a nurse, nursing associate, or midwife.

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Domains of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)

There are four main domains of the NMC. These domains are also known as standards for competence, and they apply to all fields of nursing. The domains include:

Nursing practice and decision making
Professional values
Leadership, management, and team working
Communication and interpersonal skills

All nurses must demonstrate competencies across the four domains.
Professional Values

All nurses must safeguard and care for the public first and foremost. Nurses should be responsible for provision of safe and compassionate nursing that preserves the patients’ dignity. The nurses ought to demonstrate expertise and honor and work within the legal and ethical structures outlined in the NMC code. They are obliged to partner with other healthcare professionals, organizations, agencies, and communities to ensure smooth healthcare services delivery.

All nurses should:

Be able to identify and address the challenges of decision making, affecting patients, and help them r with their families to find satisfactory answers.
Practice nursing in a holistic, caring, sensitive, and non-judgmental manner that supports social inclusion, acknowledges diversity, and respects individual choice.
Fully understand their roles so as to adjust their profession accordingly so to meet the needs of their patients, communities, and organizations.

Leadership, Management, and Teamworking

All nurses must use medically approved processes to improve healthcare standards in the community. They must be professionally responsible and respond unconventionally to both planned and uncertain situations by handling themselves and others around them excellently. Nurses must demonstrate their abilities in leadership positions during their stay in local hospitals. They must likewise create opportunities and maximize the ones given to them during this period.

All nurses must:

Efficiently work within the boundaries of professionalism while actively including others’ influences to enhance patient outcomes. Nurses ought to be aware of how and when to talk to other specialists when they need expert opinions and advice.
Recognize how their own beliefs and principles may affect their responsibilities. Nurses should uphold their expert progress by learning from experience, evaluation, feedback, and reflection.
Act as agents of change through leadership and quality improvement of service delivery.
Be able to work both independently and in a team. Nurses must lead in organizing, supervising, and delegating activities while dealing with the risks and remaining answerable for the decisions made

Nursing practice and decision making

Every nurse ought to conduct their duties compassionately, safely, and skillfully while promoting individuals’ health and well-being. Nurses need to meet the complex needs of people, colleagues, and the organization in any healthcare facility, at home or in the community. All practices and research must have evidence in compliance with both local and national guidelines. Nurses must also understand the culture, behavior, and socioeconomic factors of patients when dealing with them. They should likewise assess and meet the physical and psychological well-being of people.

All nurses must:

Have a deep understanding of the human body’s structure and function, disability, ill health, and aging. Nurses ought to have in-depth knowledge of common illnesses, health problems, and treatments.
Carry out a systematic and comprehensive patient assessment that considers the relevant physiological, genetic, spiritual, environmental, physical, social, and cultural factors through observation, measurement, and interaction.
Use updated evidence and knowledge to assess, evaluate, and deliver comprehensive patient care. Nurses ought to recognize the complexity of clinical decisions and consult for expert advice whenever necessary.

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Communication and Interpersonal Skills

Every nurse must have outstanding communication skills. The communications need to be respectful and effective. Nurses should effectively communicate by using a variety of interventions and strategies, together with technology. They must make necessary adjustments while speaking to people depending on age, physical disability, culture, and other factors. Both communication skills and technologies should enhance care and quality in service provision. Nurses must also recognize when language interpretation and communication support is needed.

All nurses must:

Learn to build therapeutic relationships and partnerships through non-discriminatory and effective communication. Nurses should take into account individual needs, capabilities, and differences.
Recognize anxiety among people and respond to it using therapeutic principles to manage the situation effectively. Nurses must use effective negotiation and communication skills to achieve the best patient outcomes
Take each chance to promote healthcare through role modeling and education.
Use a wide range of communication skills, including writing, verbal, and non-verbal methods. Nurses must be aware of their own beliefs and values and how they impact communication with others.  They must take into account how ill-health, disability, and other factors affect the patient’s communication.