The Health Secretary's response came after failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust, which highlighted the suffering of hundreds of people.
The families of 38 people treated at Alexandra Hospital in Redditch, Worcestershire, condemn its failings.
A hospital trust is paying out almost £500,000 in compensation after what human rights lawyers have called "appalling" failures of care.
The Head of Nursing at Unison says even if recruitment standards are consistent across the country, today's recommendations don't go far enough. Ail Adams said:
"Nurses have been trained in the fundamentals of care.
"But I think the Government has fallen short today with staffing levels. It's all very well to recommend the health watchdog NICE develops the guidelines for them to be applied locally."
"But if we look at other international models, in America and Australia they have minimum nurse to patient ratios."
Speaking to ITV News Julie Bailey, from the 'Cure the NHS' campaign, said today's announcement only amounted to a small step in the right direction.
"We know there are failings in the NHS now and there's nothing being done about it. We need to ensure the culture changes, and the behaviour of the people in the NHS, and that starts at the top.
"These were systemic failings from the ward right to the top of Whitehall. I don't seem to see anything in the recommendations to ensure that Whitehall has learnt."
Today's announcement from Jeremy Hunt means failing NHS bosses will be put on a blacklist which will stop them working in the health service:
- The Health Secretary wants a "national barring list" for managers who let their patients and the NHS down
- If trusts do not deliver adequate care to patients they could be put into a "failure regime" and may ultimately be put into administration
- Mr Hunt also confirmed that hospitals would be subject to Ofsted-style ratings - where hospitals will be rated as outstanding, good, requiring improvement or poor
The Health Secretary is expected to announce a ban on gagging orders, which prevent NHS whistleblowers expressing concerns about patient safety, in a response to the Francis Report on Mid Staffordshire Trust.
Chris Dalziel lost her husband George after a routine operation at Stafford Hospital in 2007.
She said: "We've got to have people that will actually stand up, and they're not going to suffer by losing jobs through whistle blowing. People need to come forward, they need to be honest about everything that's going on in the hospital".
The Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt will today announce a more practical emphasis of policy for aspiring nurses.
"Frontline, hands-on caring experience and values need to be equal with academic training," Mr Hunt will say.
"These measures are about recruiting all staff with the right values and giving them the training they need to do their job properly, so that patients are treated with compassion."
Today the Government will issue their response to the findings of the Francis Report into the failings of the Mid Staffordshire Trust.
Cure the NHS founder Julie Bailey, whose mother died at the hospital said: "We need the person at the top of that system to be held to account and for him to tender his resignation today."
Labour MP Liz Kendall told Daybreak that patients want to know that their "voices and views are heard".
Aspiring nurses will have to work for up to a year as a healthcare assistant or support worker before they can apply to become a nurse, Jeremy Hunt will announce later today.
The move will "give the public confidence" that people entering the profession can give compassionate care, the Health Secretary will say.
Hunt will also publish the government's response to the Francis report into serious failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust which highlighted "appalling and unnecessary suffering of hundreds of people" at Stafford Hospital between 2005 and 2009.
The Healthy Secretary Jeremy Hunt has defended the head of the NHS, Sir David Nicholson, over the Mid Staffs scandal saying that it was not all down to one man.
He also announced plans for NHS managers and hospital trusts to be held liable if they fiddle data.