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Why do overseas nurses have to register with the NMC?

By Luke Aldred

​The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) regulates nurses and midwives in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Better and safer care for people is at the heart of what they do, supporting the healthcare professionals on their register to deliver the highest standards of care.

Find out more about the NMC’s 2020-2025 strategy.

Joining the NMC register

As an overseas nurse, once you have a nursing degree and a minimum of six months relevant experience (within the last two years), you are able register with the NMC. This is to ensure workers have the skills needed to care for people safely, with integrity, expertise, respect, and compassion.

There are a few different ways to apply to register with the NMC, depending on which part of the register you want to join (either as a nurse, midwife, or nursing associate) and where you trained.

If you trained in the EU/EEA, bear in mind that the UK has now left the European Union and has entered a transition period until 31 December 2020. During this time, there’ll be no change to the way that EU/EEA/Swiss applicants apply for registration. Your qualifications will need to be checked to ensure they meet the NMC requirements before you can register. Here’s more information on how to do this.

If you trained outside the EU/EEA, you’ll need to follow the NMC’s overseas two-part registration process; The Computer Based Test (CBT) and an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). Following the latest advice from the UK government, all OSCE tests have been suspended until further notice due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. More information on the registration process, here.

For more information about overseas worker requirements, read our collection of blogs.