NMC promotes good practice

A
keynote address focused on the role of the NMC and asked whether all OH nurses
should be registered

In
her keynote address to delegates on the role of the new Nursing and Midwifery
Council, Maureen Williams, professional officer for community nursing and
health visiting at the NMC, invited delegates to deliberate on whether all OH
practitioners should be registered.

Although
the NMC will continue the work of its predecessor, the UKCC, in maintaining the
register, setting standards and dealing with misconduct, its primary function
is to promote good practice, said Williams.

"It’s
a new organisation with a new purpose, it must deal with bad practice but, more
importantly, work for good practice."

And
while the NMC is still charged with protecting the public through professional
standards, it is also being pushed to develop partnerships with key
stakeholders and employers, a change that will have a noticeable impact on
occupational health nurses.

The
challenge for the new council, she said, is to provide "evidence-based
regulation through a performance-driven and public-focused organisation, while
maintaining four-country- wide regulation, and always keeping in mind, national
and regional sensitivity".

Remarking
on the fact that there are only eight nurses on the council, of which only one
is an OH nurse, William’s told delegates: "It’s a real challenge only
having one representative on a council of 35."

For
this reason, she pressed OH nurses to give serious thought to how the new
council can best represent their needs when members are given the opportunity
to vote for the first directly elected council in 2005.

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