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As we pack away the Christmas decorations and reflect on an extraordinarily tough year with circumstances nobody could have envisaged, resolutions for a happier and brighter new year have never been more poignant.
The pandemic has meant we’ve needed you, our registered nurses, midwives and nursing associates, like never before. The coronavirus vaccines are a welcome promise of a better future, but we have some tough winter months to navigate with rising Covid-19 infection rates and related hospital admissions, the vaccine programme gathering pace and the more traditional winter pressures.
It’s going to be a challenging time and the professionals on the Nursing and Midwifery Council register will once again be at the heart of the national response. Thank you so much.
As your regulator, working together with health and care leaders in services across all four countries of the UK, we’re here to support you, and those who rely and depend on your incredible care, as best as we possibly can.
“We have some tough winter months to navigate”
As difficult as it feels right now, thanks to the vaccines, we know there is real hope that this pandemic will be brought under control, so life can return to some sort of normality in the future.
Establishing the temporary register at the beginning of the pandemic resulted in thousands of people answering the call to contribute to the emergency response. I’m grateful to those who have already played a significant part and everyone who continues to stand willing to help. But despite the hope for the future, the pandemic is far from over and our temporary register will continue for some time to come.
If you’re on the temporary register, please think about joining the vaccine programme – it’s a really vital and important way to come back and practise on a short-term basis.
If you’re one of the thousands of nurses, midwives or nursing associates who have only very recently left the permanent register but would be interested in coming back temporarily given the extraordinary circumstances we’re now facing, we’d love to hear from you. You can find out more on our website.
We keep on using the phrase ‘unprecedented times’, but it keeps on being true. That means we need to think hard about what more we can all do to help, including the NMC. We have been looking at further ways of quickly and safely expanding the Covid-19 temporary register so that more people can opt in to help if they wish to.
As a result, earlier this month, we announced that we are expanding the temporary register to more overseas-trained nurses to help the workforce deal with the latest surge (nursingtimes.net/NMCTempRegister). We are now opening the temporary register to all overseas applicants who have submitted the relevant supporting declarations but may be yet to complete any of the NMC tests.
Looking ahead, I’m glad the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife celebrations are extending into 2021, providing more opportunities to share the powerful stories and examples of the phenomenal work you’re all doing despite such relentless challenges.
Until next time, on behalf of everyone at the NMC, thank you.
Andrea Sutcliffe is chief executive and registrar, Nursing and Midwifery Council