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NMC changes requirements for overseas mental health nurses

By Paul Hayward

​The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has confirmed that they have recently changed their requirements for overseas mental health nurses joining the register.

Previously, nurses would need education and prior experience in mental health to be able to join the register and practice in the UK. However, the NMC are now advising that the mental health part of the register only requires a general nursing qualification and no previous experience, as long as they have qualified and registered in their country of training. Applicants will also need to be confident that they’ll pass the Computer Based Test (CBT) and the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE), based on mental health.

As the NMC do not require applicants to have prior experience, there’s no need for overseas nurses to complete a top-up mental health course; something that was previously needed. They also won’t need employment references, unless the applicants are using English Language Evidence Type 3 (practiced for one year in a majority English-speaking country).

The NMC is the regulator for nursing and midwifery professions in the UK. It maintains a register of all nurses, midwives, specialist community public health nurses and nursing associates who practice in the UK. It works to ensure staff in these professions have the skills to deliver consistent, quality care that keeps patients safe. It supports professionals to acquire the knowledge and behaviours required to join the NMC register, whilst also shaping practice by developing and promoting standards with its NMC Code. The Code is structured around four themes; prioritise people, practice effectively, preserve safety and promote professionalism and trust.

For more information and advice on joining the NMC register as an overseas mental health nurse, get in touch with Paul Hayward, our Head of Nursing (International). Alternatively, you can get in touch with the NMC.