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NMC to change temporary register as COVID measures come to an end

Regulator's register set up in March 2020 with thousands of nurses joining in past two years

Regulator will stop accepting new applications on 24 March, but nurses already on the register will be able to continue to practise after it is closed

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) will close its temporary register for nurses as emergency COVID-19 measures are set to end in March.

The temporary register was launched in March 2020 as part of the emergency response to COVID-19, with 19,333 nurses joining in the past two years.

However, as the government ends all coronavirus measures, the

Regulator will stop accepting new applications on 24 March, but nurses already on the register will be able to continue to practise after it is closed

Overseas nurses who had completed all parts of their Nursing and Midwifery Council registration process were part of the cohort invited to join the temporary register at the start of the pandemic.
Nurses who had completed all parts of their Nursing and Midwifery Council registration process were invited to join the temporary register at the start of the pandemic. Picture: Neil O’Connor

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) will close its temporary register for nurses as emergency COVID-19 measures are set to end in March.

The temporary register was launched in March 2020 as part of the emergency response to COVID-19, with 19,333 nurses joining in the past two years.

However, as the government ends all coronavirus measures, the NMC said last night they will stop accepting new applications to the temporary register on 24 March.

Nurses currently on NMC’s temporary register will still be able to practise

NMC chief executive Andrea Sutcliffe said: ‘Nurses and midwives on our COVID-19 temporary register have played an incredible part in the national response to the pandemic.

‘Thousands answered our call to join, and have helped to keep essential health and care services going under extreme pressure during the emergency. We’re very grateful to everyone for their dedication and commitment.’

The NMC added that the 13,473 nurses currently on the register will still be able to continue to practise after it is closed.

Though some nurses re-joined the register in the short term to help with the pandemic response, others will have the opportunity to join the permanent register.

NMC to support eligible professionals to move on to permanent register

The NMC said they have asked the government to provide three to six months’ notice ahead of temporary registration ending for all, allowing eligible people time to move to the permanent register if they wish.

Ms Sutcliffe added: ‘Now that we’re moving into a new phase of the government’s approach, we’ll prepare to close the temporary register carefully over the coming months.

‘We’ll keep all our temporary registrants and our partners informed, with as much notice as possible. And we’ll support eligible professionals to move on to our permanent register, if they want to keep practising.’

Who joined the temporary register during COVID-19?

In March 2020, different groups were invited join the temporary register, including international nurses and those who had retired or left the register. They included:

  • Nurses and midwives who left the permanent register between 1 March 2017 and 29 February 2020
  • Overseas candidates who had completed all parts of their NMC registration process except their OSCE
  • Nurses and midwives who left the permanent register between 1 March 2015 and 28 February 2017


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