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Newly qualified non-EU nurses now eligible to apply to the UK register

NMC drops restriction on UK registration for overseas nurses qualified for less than a year

NMC drops restriction on UK registration for overseas nurses qualified for less than a year


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Nurses trained outside the EU can now apply to practise in the UK immediately after qualifying.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) today dropped its requirement that nurses from outside the EU must have worked for at least a year post-qualification before applying to practise in the UK.

The regulator made the change as part of a wider review of how to improve the experience for overseas nurses and midwives wanting to work in the UK.

'This change will remove an unnecessary barrier, making it as simple as possible for nursing and midwifery staff from outside the EU to join the workforce'

Emma Broadbent, NMC registration director

Applicants to the UK register will still need to pass NMC tests proving they are safe to practise and can communicate effectively in English. The NMC has updated guidance for applicants to help them prepare for the tests.

NMC director of registration and revalidation Emma Broadbent said: ‘More than 65,000 nurses and midwives from outside the EU deliver first-class care to millions of people across the UK every year and they are a vital part of our health and care workforce.

‘This change will remove an unnecessary barrier, making it as simple and straightforward as possible for highly skilled nursing and midwifery staff to join the workforce.’

Reform to testing process

In July, the NMC stated nurses who have trained outside the European Economic Area would only have to retake the sections of the mandatory Objective Structured Clinical Examination that they may fail.

The exam is one of a series of requirements these nurses must fulfil before joining the register. Previously, unsuccessful candidates were not told which of the exam's six sections they had failed or why, while employers had to pay almost £1,000 for the candidate to retake the whole test.

Now, non-EEA nurses will be told which part they need to repeat. The cost of retaking has fallen from £992 per candidate for the full test to £496 for a partial re-sit.


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