NMC celebrates 100 years of nursing regulation

05 Dec 2019

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is celebrating a century of pride and awareness about the vital role nurses, working across all health and care settings, play in the UK.

On December 23, 1919, the Nurses Registration Act was passed in the House of Commons after 32 years campaigning by Ethel Gordon Fenwick, former matron of St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London. She believed in establishing a compulsory register of nurses to standardise training, improve patient safety, and advance the profession. 

The NMC celebrations involved a competition to design a commemorative pin badge, a new film, an interactive timeline and a celebratory event. Andrea Sutcliffe, chief executive and registrar at the NMC, said, “A century on from the introduction of nurse registration, I’m sure Ethel Gordon Fenwick would be proud of her legacy and the fantastic contribution nurses make every day in our communities. It’s a great privilege and responsibility for the NMC to regulate such an important and trusted profession. We want to use our anniversary to reflect on all that has been achieved since 1919 and show how nurses have made and continue to make a difference for people using services and their families.”


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