Overseas Recruitment- Nurses

The NMC - Nursing and Midwifery Council checks and verifies that an applicant is capable of practising safely and effectively in the UK as a nurse or midwife and they assess the applicant’s qualification, training and experience against UK NMC standards.

NMC will check whether the applicant has undertaken the necessary post-qualifying practice and experience in each area of nursing or midwifery as required for the part of the Register for which they are applying.

In Sept-2018, NMC removed the requirement to have minimum experience. Applicants must also meet NMC's English language requirements.

To prove knowledge of English language requirements, there are a number of pieces of evidence that NMC will accept:

  • You must have within the last 2 years, achieved the required score in one of the English language tests accepted by the NMC. You must achieve the required international English language test (IELTS) score of 7.0 in reading, speaking and listening sections and 6.5 in the writing section, of the academic version of the IELTS test or Occupational English Test (OET) with grade B or grade A across all 4 sub-tests of reading, writing, speaking and listening. You can achieve these test scores across two test sittings, provided, (1) you take the tests within six months of each other, (2) you are tested across all four sections at the same time, all scores in both sittings are above 6.5 (if IELTS) or above C+ (if OET) (3) if IELTS, you achieve at least 6.5 in the writing section an at least 7 in reading, listening and speaking sections in either of the two test sittings or if OET, you achieve grade B or higher in all sub-tests, when the results of both sittings are viewed together.
  • A recent pre-registration nursing or midwifery qualification which was taught and examined in English. NMC will need further evidences at the assessment stage before they make a final decision on its acceptability.**By recent NMC mean's evidence related to English Language Competence that is less than two years old at the point of making an application to the NMC
  • Registration and practice of at least one year in a country where English is the first and native language and an English language assessment was required for registration.

The applicant will, separately, be required to meet the full requirements of the UK’s immigration processes, where UKVI approved English certificate has to be submitted.

UK NMC switched from ONP (Overseas Nursing Program) to the new test of competence from Oct/2014. Candidates with the old ONP decision letters are still eligible to start their supervised practise. The NMC’s new test of competence involves the below process

Stage 1: Computer Based Test (CBT)

  • Pearson VUE Test Centres globally

Stage 2: Observed Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)

  • Oxford Brookes University
  • University of Northampton
  • Ulster University
  • Northumbria University
  • Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Stage 1 - Computer Based Test (CBT) – at Pearson VUE Test Centres around the world

  • Multiple choice
  • 115 questions
  • 3 hours to complete
  • Two parts: Numeracy & Clinical
  • Pass percentage – 90% for each part.
  • Maximum 3 re-sits in 6 months.

The new CBT is split into two parts: Part A covers numeracy and Part B covers clinical questions for nursing or midwifery.

CBT part Timing Number of questions
Part A: Numeracy 30 minutes 15
Part B: Clinical 2 hours and 30 minutes 100

Stage 2 – Observed Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)

  • 10 OSCE stations
  • 20 minutes per station with 5 minutes familiarisation
  • Four stations will continue to be linked together around a scenario: the APIE (one station for assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation)
  • Four stations to test skills (two pairs of two skills)
  • Two new stations to assess the candidate's values and behaviours and evidence-based practice.
  • Maximum 3 re-sits
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