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Nursing and Midwifery

Nurses and midwives

The Nursing and Midwifery Council regulates all nurses and midwives, setting standards of education, training and behaviour. To work in any role as a nurse or midwife, you must first study in an approved course to get an approved qualification. This could be a first degree or a higher diploma or a postgraduate diploma in a branch of nursing if you want to be a Registered Nurse. New entrants to the nursing profession from September 2013 will have to study a degree. Diploma courses will be phased out between September 2011 and early 2013. By September 2013, all nursing programmes will be degree-only. For more information, see the NHS Careers website. You can choose to work in one of several fields of practice, for example, mental health, children or adult, all listed here. You would need to study midwifery to become a Registered Midwife.


See career stories:


“Infection is something I have always been enthusiastic about”

Helen Tissington – Senior Health Protection Nurse Specialist 


”Part of my role in infection control involves going round all the hospitals in Wales and I also work with the media”

 Daffyd Williams – Lead Nurse Welsh Healthcare associated Infections Project 


“I am strategic lead for the development of immunisation services for people of all ages. When I trained I looked after a baby with Meningitis C who sadly died. That has stuck with me as I tell everyone who attends immunisation training today”

 Leigh Pusey – Clinical Lead for Immunisation of Child and Maternity Services 


Specialist Community Public Health Nursing

To work in a specialist community public health role, you could be a health visitor, school nurse or occupational health nurse or, in Scotland, a family health nurse. You can register on the Specialist Community Public Health section of the Nursing and Midwifery Council register if you meet specialist standards, which you can see here. You have specialist recorded qualifications and experience. Until the end of 2009, if you work as a sexual health adviser, you can show that you meet the standards using a portfolio: NMC calls this ‘migration’. Until 2010, you can ‘migrate’ if you work as a health protection nurse.

Staying on the register

To stay on the register, all registered Nurses, Midwives and Specialist Community Public Health Nurses have to provide a signed notification of practice (NOP) form and pay a renewal of registration fee as explained by NMC.

Nurses, Midwives and Specialist Community Public Health Nurses must meet standards for Post Registration Education and Practice (PREP) provided on the NMC website. The standards include meeting a Continuing Professional Development standard of at least five days (35 hours) of learning in the previous three years, completed in a variety of ways. Some CPD is offered and accredited by a professional body, the Royal College of Nursing and the Royal College of Midwives. Or, specialist associations like the Infection Prevention Society. Nurses and midwives must also have completed a minimum of 450 hours of practice.


See career stories:


“My career shows that much of what I have achieved is not down to pieces of paper” 

Anne Aberdein – Integrated Community Schools Integration Manager of Health and Wellbeing 


“I felt a passion to want to help workers who were being exposed to unhealthy work environments”

Cynthia Atwell – Regional Specialist Public Health Nurse (Occupational Health)



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