Number of overseas nurses registering in the UK is going up

NMC credits registration reforms for recent boost to the UK workforce
travellers passing through immigration

NMC credits its foreign registration reforms for recent boost to the UK workforce

Picture: iStock

The number of nurses and midwives coming to work in the UK from outside the European Union (EU) increased significantly in three months.

The average number joining the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register each month increased to 440 between April to June 2018 from an average of 237 per month in the previous nine months.

There were 69,425 nurses and midwives on the register from outside the EU by the end of June 2018 compared with 67,534 in July 2017.

Changes to NMC rules

The increase follows recent changes to NMC processes, including how applicants are required to demonstrate their English language skills.

NMC director of registration and revalidation Emma Broadbent said: ‘It’s pleasing to see an increase in nurses and midwives from outside the EU joining the UK workforce.

‘Indications are that the changes we’ve made are making a difference – but it’s very early days and we must wait to see if this trend continues.

‘The UK workforce is under significant pressure and it’s vital we continue to enable people with the right skills and knowledge to join our register in the quickest and safest way.’

Ms Broadbent added that the NMC is reviewing the application processes for overseas nurses and midwives as a whole.

Plans include allowing nurses and midwives from outside the EU to apply to join the register immediately after qualifying – rather than having to wait 12 months as is now the case.

Updated processes

An online system will be developed that allows nurses to submit their application and track its progress, and an updated competence test will reflect the NMC’s new education standards.

There will be updated guidance and support for applicants and employers.

The announcement follows recent changes to the four-part practical assessment for nurses and midwives trained outside the EU that mean applicants are now required only to re-sit those parts of the exam they failed.

The NMC aims to introduce a revised and updated process for all overseas applicants from early 2019.

In other news