Practicality: Employers usually tend to refer black nurses than white colleagues – RCNi

NMC will do more research to understand why – and make positive changes

Image: Charles Milligan

Employers refer black and ethnic minority nurses to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) more often than their white counterparts, according to new research.

The nursing authority's Ambitious for Change report examines how factors such as race, sexuality, and gender can influence a registrant's experience with NMC processes.

Employers point to a higher proportion of black and ethnic minority nurses

Based on FtP referral data of 13,805 cases between April 2019 and March 2020, employers made around half of all referrals from black registrants (49.9%, 1,082) and Asian registrants (50%, 519), compared with 40 , 7% (4,420) of referrals from white registrants.

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Black registrants were also more likely than white registrants to see that their FtP case was moving to the jurisprudence stage where decisions can be made to restrict their practice.

A total of 5,411 (58.2%) cases with white registrants were completed in the screening phase (before reaching the jurisprudence phase) compared to 983 (44.2%) cases with black registrants.

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Andrea Sutcliffe

However, the NMC study found that black registrants are no more likely to receive a sanction restricting or prohibiting their practice than their white counterparts.

"People are still treated differently in our NMC processes."

Andrea Sutcliffe, managing director of NMC, said the study highlighted the changes the regulator needed to make – and is determined to make them.

"Today's research has shown that people are still treated differently depending on who they are in our processes – and that has to change," she said.

"While we don't fully understand all of the reasons for this, we are determined to be a driving force for positive change."

"We will now conduct further research to understand the reasons for the differences observed so far so that we can take appropriate action."

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The NMC said it will commission work to understand why employers and members of the public have recommended certain groups, and to examine people's experiences with the extension.

Read the NMC report

Ambitious for change: Research into NMC processes and protected human properties

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