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Overseas nurse recruitment: NMC promises registration will speed up

Employers complain that the process is too slow, but regulator pledges to expand capacity to help plug staff gaps during pandemic
Overseas nurse with patient

Employers complain that the process is too slow, but regulator pledges to expand capacity to help plug staff gaps during pandemic

Hundreds of international nurses have been added to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register in the past week as the regulator works to accelerate recruitment from overseas.

Chief executive Andrea Sutcliffe told an NMC council meeting today that 575 nurses from overseas were registered in the past week.

Ms Sutcliffe added that the numbers give an ‘indication of the amount of work that is going on’ as the NHS and the government push for more overseas recruits to plug staff shortages during the pandemic.

Employers complain that the process is too slow, but regulator pledges to expand capacity to help plug staff gaps during pandemic

Picture: John Houlihan

Hundreds of international nurses have been added to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register in the past week as the regulator works to accelerate recruitment from overseas.

Chief executive Andrea Sutcliffe told an NMC council meeting today that 575 nurses from overseas were registered in the past week.

Ms Sutcliffe added that the numbers give an ‘indication of the amount of work that is going on’ as the NHS and the government push for more overseas recruits to plug staff shortages during the pandemic.

Registration process takes too long, say nursing employers

In December, in response to the surge in COVID-19 cases and the rising level of staff absences, the NMC reopened its temporary register to internationally trained nurses who were already on their pathway to full NMC registration.

But NMC council papers reveal there has been an increase in complaints from nursing employers relating to delays in registration for overseas staff.

‘Given the current drive for overseas recruitment, the 60 days taken to process registration for international applicants was challenging for employers and the increase in complaints in this area was concerning,’ the council papers state.

Ms Sutcliffe said she was ‘very confident’ the NMC could cope with processing an increasing number of international applicants.

Overseas nurse registration process will become faster, says NMC

NMC interim executive director of professional regulation Tom Scott assured members that the regulator was working to speed up the process of international nurse registration.

He told the council meeting that by March this year the NMC will increase the number of its partners who deliver the objective structured clinical examination (OSCE), the exam that international nurses from outside the EU must pass to join the register.

Mr Scott added that the regulator hoped this will ‘expand capacity as we anticipate further applications’ and make it faster and easier for overseas nurses to join the register and work in the UK.


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