Innumerable concepts could have been discussed under the letter “p” but the central and blindingly obvious concept that should be discussed in a blog which is called A-Z professional nurse; must be that of “professional”. The elephant in the room cannot be avoided.

I am fortunate to live in a community where individuals are willing to help each other out.  All of us can sometimes feel that we have little to offer those around us; but it is frequently in the everyday situations of simply being oneself and offering what one can to those around us that our true humanity is demonstrated.  A recent intervention on behalf of a neighbour has avoided a potential public health catastrophe and maintained cordial relations in the street.  In return the neighbour went out of their way to mend a fence and even took the time to obtain the appropriate covering for the fence.  The challenge was then on to make sure that this kindness was repaid by successful execution of the task.  The comment “that’s a proper professional job” was praise indeed from the diligent and proficient “do it yourself “ neighbour and was warmly received. However, whilst his comment was kind, I am not sure against what standard he had judged my efforts. A quick perusal of web-based information about fence painting contractors appeared to reveal a range of standards. Despite the majority of them claiming to offer a “professional job or service” there does not appear to be a commonly agreed and accepted standard or even a Guild or Regulator who may be able to guide fence painters.

The NMC (2015)

This is not the case for nurses and midwives who have a Regulatory Body, the Nursing & Midwifery Council;(NMC), and a set of professional standards of practice and behaviour set out in The Code. Professionals are individuals who perform a role that requires specialist education, training and skills which are recognised and licensed or registered; as is the case with nurses and midwives, by a professional body; acknowledging the individual as being fit to practise.

The NMC set, review and maintain the Standards for education nursing and midwifery education and practice at both pre and post-registration levels. These standards are required to be met by all nursing and midwifery students on NMC approved programmes prior to entry to the register. This will ensure they are fit to practise at the point of registration. New education Standards are expected to be published by the NMC during 2017.

Here at Salford we have just had the pleasure of facilitating the completion and sign off of the pre-registration nursing programme for individuals who began their professional journey three years ago and so permit their transition to becoming fully fledged professional registered nurses.  It has been as intriguing; as ever, to review some of the comments of those neophyte professionals as they reflected upon what it means to be fit to practise.  In year three of the pre-registration nursing programme students are asked to consider real life case studies to help them appreciate the importance of always following and upholding the standards set out in The Code; not just in their practice as a registered nurse but in their everyday lives.  This approach has helped emphasize their accountability for their practice and that everything they do must be in the interests of the health, safety and wellbeing of the clients in their care.  These neophyte professionals recognise the privilege it is to be a registered nurse and the necessity of ensuring that they continue to develop and extend their competence throughout their professional careers. This week the School has welcomed its latest cohort of pre-registration nursing students and next week they will begin to explore the standards set out in The Code which will guide their development towards becoming a professional registered nurse.

To practise lawfully as a registered nurse in the United Kingdom, practitioners must hold a current and valid registration with the NMC. It is illegal to practise if your name does not appear on the Register; something the School’s most recent completing students absolutely appreciate as they await the arrival of their Personal Identification Number (PIN) with eager anticipation. Further The Nursing and Midwifery Order 2001 makes the illegal use of the protected titles ‘registered nurse’ and ‘midwife’, an offence. None of us would wish to be cared for by an individual masquerading in a professional role for which they were not effectively and lawfully prepared. The title “registered nurseis a protected title; the title “nurse” is not a protected title in the United Kingdom; it is in America, New Zealand and Australia. A petition to Make ‘Nurse’ a protected title to the UK Government and Parliament in April 2014 attracted only 256 signatures. Do you think Making “Nurse” a protected title would restore public confidence and professional pride as the petition suggested?

cc PSA

The Professional Standards Authority  help to protect the public through their work with organisations that register and regulate people working in health and social care. Part of their work involves performance review reports to question the regulators they oversee about their work. Their latest review of the NMC 2015/16 was presented to the NMC on 25 January 2017. The review concluded that the NMC “Met all of the Standards of Good Regulation for Registration”.

Registration Standard 5 is as follows: “Risk of harm to the public and of damage to public confidence in the profession related to non-registrants using a protected title or undertaking a protected act is managed in a proportionate and risk-based manner”.

It is the interests of all registered nurses and the public that the NMC continues to meet this standard.




“It is the mararistotle-bustos-756620__340k of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” Aristotle

What exactly does it mean to be objective as a Nurse or Midwife?

Nurses and midwives must treat people as individuals and uphold their dignity NMC (2015). In doing so they must remain unprejudiced and non-discriminatory in all aspects of care delivery. Nurses and Midwives should make it their business to challenge poor practice and any discriminatory behaviour and attitudes in relation to client care. Care must be delivered based on facts; not assumptions.

impartial-683942__340Any information or advice which is given by Nurses and Midwives should be evidence-based and not swayed by commercial or financial imperatives. Nurses and Midwives must be impartial and act with honesty and integrity at all times all times. The decisions that Nurses and Midwives make about care interventions should be fair and equitable; they should not be biased in any way. Nurses and Midwives who carry out their practice in this manner will be objective in the delivery of care.

tennis-court-443267__340Relationships with clients, families and carers must always remain professional and not transgress professional boundaries. It can be a challenging task to remain objective and un-involved given the circumstances in which Nurses and Midwives meet with clients and their families. Clients require intervention at times when they are at their most vulnerable but Nurses and Midwives must never to exploit that vulnerability. Perhaps some Nurses and Midwives find it difficult to remain dispassionate and yet still compassionate. Perhaps they worry that their objective engagement with the client may be perceived as impersonal, disinterested or detached; that their objectivity may be seen as just being cold and clinical. Nurses and Midwives are not devoid of emotions and the situations in which they engage are frequently emotionally charged and to suggest otherwise is to deny the reality of care engagement. Being with a family when they have just been told some devastating information is a difficult place to be but also places Nurses and Midwives in the privileged position of being able to support individuals at real points of crisis. Remaining objective at such times contributes to the professional and effective means of support.

Another aspect of the word objective offers a challenge to many students and registrants as they make plans for their careers in the short and long term. An objective is something we plan to do or achieve; a measurable point along the way to achieving a goal; a specific target target-1414775__340 towards a goal.

Objectives are usually short term and goals long term. Objectives may be thought of as the stepping stones stepping-stones-763985__340which we use to cross the river to achieve the goal of reaching the other side. goal-setting-1955806__340


You may have just enjoyed a nice time with family and friends, people-527647__340



consumed lots of nice food; maybe a nice biscuit! biscuit-546270_960_720



and perhaps be planning a nice holiday

This is Nice
This is Nice

when the weather will be nicer later in the year. img_9445

Inspiring? Perhaps not.


Nice is a word that frequently gets a bad press in today’s modern world. It seems quite insipid and not particularly informative. Harry Enfield’s comic character “Tim Nice But Dim” from the 90’s also springs to mind. Check him out on You Tube if you are not familiar with the character.

Do you want to be known as “nice”?

During a recent discussion about experiences of care an individual commented that “I just want people to be nice and not horrid when they are caring for me”. Kind, lovely, considerate, courteous are perhaps some of the traits clients are thinking of when they refer to those caring for them as “nice“.

Perhaps the acronym “NICE” nice-logo-downloadreminds you of The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence which provides national guidance and advice to improve health and social care.

Many  health and social care professionals rely upon the advice and guidance NICE provide to keep them up to date with the latest evidence base for practice and so help maintain and enhance the quality of health and social care and services they deliver for clients.

Find out more

It is good to ensure that your practice is always in line with the latest evidence base but your clients don’t just want you to be aware of the latest guidance. They want you to apply your knowledge to their situation, to care for them as individuals and treat them kindly with respect. They want you to be nice.

Perhaps not dissimilar to how we all want to be treated as human beings in whatever circumstance we find ourselves.

It’s good to be nice


Sometimes; unfortunately, our desire to be nice can be exploited by others and lead to problematic situations; for example the student who wants to help out one of their peers with an assignmentcorrecting-1870721__340 only to discover later that their work has been copied.

Students should always wisely avoid such compromising situations by following the appropriate guidance from their universities in relation to the execution of theoretical components of their programme.