Fitness to Practice

Nurses and Professional Standards

Vocational courses carry with them expectations of professionalism, and are usually covered by quite strict codes of conduct.

This page is to highlight the extra responsibility you have as a trainee nurse under the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Code of Conduct (the Code). The NMC have the final say as to whether you become a nurse or not. The Code covers your personal behaviour as well as your actions, e.g. on placement, but also in your non-academic activities.

The day-to-day oversight of your adherence to professional standards is delegated to Edinburgh Napier University School of Nursing whose job it is to prepare you for final registration. The University rules which cover breaches of professional standards are called Fitness to Practice Regulations. You can be asked to attend a meeting to discuss your professionalism due to all sorts of situations:

  • facebook comments deemed to be derogatory, harassing or detrimental to fellow students, the university, the NHS bank or your placement venue
  • safety issues on placement
  • complaint from another student or member of staff
  • misbehaviour in university accommodation
  • misbehaviour outwith the university but which is reported to the school
  • academic misconduct (cheating/plagiarism etc)
  • paid work issues which are reported to the school
  • outside procedures eg a court hearing which you are obliged to report to the school
  • not reporting a health issue which could impinge on your working capability and the safety of your patients

The range of actions that can bring your fitness to practice into question is broader than you might expect.

beware those facebook discussions where you think you are only letting off steam in a private chat! Who knows where the conversations will end up?

be aware of the Code and keep up to date

talk to ENSA Advice immediately (0131 229 8791 or e-mail if you are called to a Fitness to Practice investigatory meeting.