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."
The NHS will have a legal duty to reveal mistakes on wards and will adopt a 'culture of zero harm'.
The Health Secretary's response came after failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust, which highlighted the suffering of hundreds of people.