The Code will be sent to all nurses and midwives before it becomes effective on 31 March.
Jackie Smith, chief executive and registrar of the NMC, said: “The Code sets out the professional standards for nurses and midwives. When someone joins the NMC’s register, they are committing to uphold these standards when they practice.
“The Code will strike a chord with the nurses and midwives who already demonstrate these principles in their practice. It will put patients at the heart of practice, and will help us to protect the public better.”
There have been changes in healthcare and society since the previous Code was published in 2008. The revised Code reflects these changes with new requirements on:
Fundamentals of care
This covers the essential aspects of caring for a patient, including making sure that a patient has adequate access to nutrition and hydration.
The duty of candour
Nurses and midwives should be open and honest with colleagues, patients and healthcare regulators when things go wrong.
Nurses and midwives should raise concerns without delay if they are aware of a threat to patient safety or public protection.
Delegation and accountability
Nurses and midwives should make sure that they delegate tasks and duties appropriately and those they delegate to complete tasks to the required standard.
The professional duty to take action in an emergency
Nurses and midwives should take action in an emergency when off-duty, within the limits of their competence.
Social media use
Nurses and midwives should use social media responsibly, in line with our guidance.
The Code also makes clear that responsibility for those receiving care lies not only with the nurse or midwife providing hands-on care, but also with those nurses and midwives working in policy, education and management roles.