The unelected Establishment mouthpiece which trades as the NMC would so gag nurses on essential issues that the only comments they could post online would be be ones that the STASI ‘thought police’ of the former East German Republic would have allowed. Their gagging code states that nurses and midwives must ‘uphold the reputation of your profession at all times” (NMC 2008), while students must “uphold the reputation of your chosen profession at all times” (NMC 2009a). This means that conduct online and conduct in the real world should be judged in the same way, and should be at a similar high standard. Nurses and midwives will put their registration at risk, and students may jeopardise their ability to join our register, if they:

• Share confidential information online.
• Post inappropriate comments about colleagues or patients.
• Use social networking sites to bully or intimidate colleagues.
• Use social networking sites in any way which is unlawful’.

If a nurse posts a generalised comment, not naming anyone, about poor nursing in the hospital or care home they work in, would that constitute sharing confidential information? Apparantly so, for NURSINGS’ MIND CONTROL guidelines also state:

• ‘Do not discuss work-related issues online, including conversations about patients or complaints about colleagues. Even when anonymised, these are likely to be inappropriate’. How, then, is poor nursing care to become a more widely discussed issue – one which attracts more public debate? Anonomysed reporting of poor care by those who observe it is the very life-line of informing the public. Blog after blog carry comments written anonomously by patients’ relatives about disgusting standards of care and endemic short staffing. Why should nurses who observe similar standards of care not be expected to raise these issues to as wide an audience as possible? Surely this would ‘uphold the reputation of your chosen profession’ by putting the nurse on the side of patients, which is what I thought was the essence of nursing, and not on the side of the profession, which is run as a Stasi tyranny by unelected Establisment mouthpieces. A nurse has a primary duty to the patient, as a doctor to theirs, not to any code which solely seeks to protect the professions’ ruling class. Their responsibility is not to their professional body, but to the body in the bed.

In many American States, it is a mandatory duty to report bad care directly to the police. In that country, hidden cameras have revealed nurses routinely not caring for patients, not giving them drinks or medication, etc., and has resulted in criminal prosecutions – it is a felony to misuse State funds. Why do NURSINGS’ MIND CONTROL advocate that complaints procedures should go through an in-house process? Why are cameras used to ‘protect’ NHS A&E staff and not patients? Why is nursing so suffocated by secrecy? Who are you protecting? The patient? I suggest not. If a nurse sees poor care being routinely given, why should they not publish it to the world? Why should they not, in an anonomised way – not naming patients or staff – shout out their concerns through a magaphone at their hospital or nursing home gate? Or, would this be seen as bullying or intimidation of colleagues, who, when passing the nurse with the megaphone, might feint and require smelling salts, as neurotic ladies of old? Why do the ruling class of nursing so seek to gag the working class of nursing? It is because nursings’ hierarchy reflect the hierarchial class structure of Britain, which is subject to some of the most draconian anti-union and anti-free speech laws in the world. You want to promote a false image, my dear NURSINGS’ MIND CONTROL, as if on the washing line of nursing there hangs only the whitest of knickers.

May I beg to ask you, oh Chosen Ones, what constitutes using ‘social networking sites in any way which is unlawful’? What is the twilight zone of what you would consider ‘unlawful’? Would advocating the violent overthrow of the Syrian State be considered such? That is, if a British nurse used social media to post such a view – which is the hidden agenda of America and its British deputy – would they, using the words of your code, ‘jeopardise (their) ability to join and stay on our register’? Can nurses take any strong political stances? What would you sanction? What would you ban? Could nurses tweet that private equity companies that have been given NHS contracts, and are allowed to run nursing home chains, are parasites of the capitalist exploitation of nursing care, which regularly donate to the Conservative Party? Or, would you, as I suspect, rather have nurses discuss which washing powder gets their knickers whiter? – as if women, the majority of the nursing workforce, are all somehow brainless and apolitical, and should be consigned to discussing flower arranging at the vicar’s tea party. Could nurses under your totalitarian rule tweet that the whole system of the nursing hierarchy is rotten and needs to be overthrown?

The entire tone of your ‘code’ is threatening, and encouraging of STASI-style informants – again I quote from your totalitarian edict: ‘If you are very concerned about someone else’s behaviour online, you should take steps to raise your concern, including if necessary with their university or employer. In the most serious circumstances, for example if someone’s use of a social networking site is unlawful, you should also report the incident to the police’.

In your vainglorious manner, oh Powerful Ones, you declare: ‘We do not advocate blanket bans on nurses, midwives or students joining or using social networking sites, and employers and educators should not suggest that this is our position. Even if such bans could be imposed on workplace or university computer networks, personal computers and mobile devices offer easy access. Blanket bans are likely therefore to be both unenforceable and counter-productive. We support the responsible use of social networking sites by nurses, midwives and students’. What type of Brave New World is this? Would you have a blanket ban if it were enforceable? What do you mean by ’employers and educators should not suggest that this is our position’? Do you mean they should merely hint that it is? That the white-knicker lady would prefer your knickers to be as unseen by the public as hers? ‘Bans could be imposed on workplace or university computer networks’, can they? Legally? Should they be? Is nursing now run by North Korea? Do you issue such sanctimonious and egotistical edicts from an ivory tower behind some Berlin Wall?

You would rather nursing and its brainwashing university brigade cosy up to capitalist exploiters of the health care ‘market’ – nothing wrong with social media then, eh? Nurses would be quite free to express that the Government’s health care ‘initiatives’ are only about ’empowering’ people, that is, to echo the mantra of weasel-word neocons. What would happen to a student who found this threatening?, or to a nurse lecturer who opposed such propaganda, and encouraged students to think for themselves, perhaps encouraging them to go online and read ‘alternative’ views? Your pro-capitalist stance is hinted at in your own ‘market speak’ – ‘Given the large proportion of the population using social networking sites, healthcare providers and universities can derive benefits through engaging with social media, both at a corporate and individual level. Having a corporate presence on social networking sites can also lend credibility when engaging students, nurses and midwives around these issues, and can provide a platform for encouraging responsible use’. The truth is out! Hospitals and universities are corporations!, and only innocent nurses should expect them to be places of caring and learning.

What really uncovers you as Nursings’ Big Sister is your chilling reminder to nurses that their responsibility is to the NMC – ‘Organisations should set out clear policies for staff and students on their use of social networking sites, encouraging responsible use. Where a policy is targeted at nurses and midwives, it should remind them of their responsibilities to the NMC’ – not to the patient! Or do you, oh Exalted Ones, think that the patients’ best interests are only served by following yours?

You complain that ‘Cyber-bullying can be intrusive and distressing’, well, so can having to attend one of your kangaroo courts on charges trumped up by vindictive colleagues or employers. Why do you suggest that employers should ‘revalidate’ nurses? Why do you actively assist non-EU nurses to obtain work permits? That is, why do you mimic government policy?

The answer is this, let this truth be known – the NMC is nothing more than a branch of the government, its members no more than hand-picked yes-people.

I call for the entire hierarchy of the Nursing Establishment (including the RCN), to be overthrown, and I urge all nurses to promote this demand on social media.

I call for the establishment of a democratically elected governing body of nursing.

Please distribute this article on social media (you are advised to do so anonymously if you are a nurse or nursing student, for they are listening!).



lenin nightingale 2015



  1. For frontline nurses independent from the Nursing Midwifery Council (NMC) not to attempt ethical alternate and pluralistic understanding of the code of conduct presents as running the risk of preference or interpretation towards proliferated professional fear and by agreeing to this fear nurses may hope to instead minimise the attention or unwanted wrath (no matter how unfounded) of the NMC.

    It is thus reasonable to assert in the current economical state of affairs where the code uses underpinning words such as non- ‘negotiable’ or ‘discretionary’ it will increase and create professional fear and a sense of potential injustice, which may inadvertently and indiscriminately discredit or impinge on ethical and moral necessity to openly question and oppose the code inclusive of its propagators.

    The use of specific words such as non-‘negotiable’ and ‘discretionally’ may in fact create a fixed limited understanding of the code, which in fact could unfairly promote dualistic notions of understanding in so much as alternate pluralistic views or options can-not be tolerated by the council unless sanctioned by the council. So in relevant specific reference to the code introduction this can be further interpreted as ‘while you’re entitled to your views on values and principles you cannot negotiate or demand discretion’. And so it brings one question to the fore – does this sound open to being democratic and reasonable?

    It is considered that the mere mention of the code not being negotiable and discretionary will always run risk of undermining democratic principles related to fairness and reasonability, especially where frontline nurses unfairly experience regular external traumatic emergent experiences and situations.

    There is perhaps a further manifold way to interpret this initial aspect of the statement in so much as how the NMC may for example consolidate or support its actions by reference to relevant public or professional consultations and forums as evidence of democratic reasoning. But this alone may not equate with fair play in so much how consultations or forums are conducted and whether or how directed questions are with room for open answers. On being externally investigated it may as an organisation point out only a certain amount of options are available in reference to how consultations are processed and produced. In essence if not careful any dependency on an organisation legitimising its fair action may do so actually based on creating mob rule or in another purposeful sense ‘you will obey because we dictated it that way in the first place’.

    Of course the determinants of these words must be explored further in detail to what the code indicates are its principles and so questions the deeper notion of it truly not being ‘negotiable’ or ‘discretionary’.

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