Expert advice

Workforce: The irony of easing the language test for overseas nurses

Barriers for non-EU nurses are falling to help solve a self-made shortage, says James Buchan

The barriers for non-EU nurses are falling to help solve a self-made shortage, says James Buchan

Christmas has come early for some overseas-trained nurses. The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has lowered the pass mark in the written English language test for international nurses applying to work in the UK.

This means that an estimated 1,000 overseas-trained nurses who have failed the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) written test in the past two years may now become eligible to join the UK register. Lowering the bar will also help new international applicants.

The NMC had come under increasing pressure from recruitment agencies and employers,

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