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Overseas nurse recruitment: give your views on proposed changes

NMC is consulting on plans to streamline process, meaning some applicants may not need to take a competency test, and some overseas qualifications may be recognised in UK

NMC is consulting on plans to streamline process, meaning some applicants may not need to take a competency test, and some overseas qualifications may be recognised in UK

Nurses are being asked to share their views on proposed changes to the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s (NMC) international application process.

The new system would streamline the process of registration for overseas nurses, making applying to work in the UK less restrictive.

Changes to requirements for competency test and qualifications

Under the proposed changes , if an overseas applicant holds an NMC-approved qualification and meets the

NMC is consulting on plans to streamline process, meaning some applicants may not need to take a competency test, and some overseas qualifications may be recognised in UK

Picture: Alamy

Nurses are being asked to share their views on proposed changes to the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s (NMC) international application process.

The new system would streamline the process of registration for overseas nurses, making applying to work in the UK less restrictive.

Changes to requirements for competency test and qualifications

Under the proposed changes, if an overseas applicant holds an NMC-approved qualification and meets the regulator’s requirements, they will not have to sit a competency test. Currently all non-European Union applicants have to sit a competency test that covers numeracy and clinical questions.

And, in limited situations, the NMC may choose to recognise overseas nurses’ qualifications if a government-to-government trade deal has taken place, meaning nursing qualifications from certain countries may be applicable in the UK.

However, if overseas applicants do not hold an NMC-approved qualification, they will still be asked to take the competency test.

All applicants will still be required to meet the NMC’s other registration requirements, including those relating to English language, indemnity, and payment of a fee.

NMC says changes would bring more clarity to registration process

The NMC’s executive director of strategy and insight Matthew McClelland said the changes would set out more clearly how the regulator should assess international applications.

‘Our test of competence continues to be our primary approach to registering internationally trained professionals, who make a vital contribution to UK health and care services,’ he said.

Details of government’s recruitment drive

The consultation comes as health and social care secretary Sajid Javid pledged to recruit 10,000 international nurses in England by the end of March 2022.

The overseas recruitment drive will contribute to the government’s election promise of 50,000 more nurses by 2025.

Number of international registrants on the rise

There has been an increasing number of overseas registrants over the past three years. Nurse registration from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) saw an increase of 9,960 registrants between April and September 2021, despite COVID-19 travel restrictions.

During the same time period in 2019, before the pandemic struck and travel was not restricted, the number of EEA registrants only increased by 4,065.

The consultation closes at 11:45pm on 6 May 2022.


Contribute your views to the consultation


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