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New process for nurses and midwives trained overseas will register hundreds each year

26 August 2014

Nurses and midwives who completed their training outside the European Economic Area (EEA) will soon be subject to new assessments of the eligibility to gain entry to the  Nursing and Midwifery Council’s (NMC) register. The new registration system, to be introduced this autumn, has already been adopted by other healthcare profession regulators. It will ensure that the hundreds of nurses and midwives who trained overseas and wish to practise in the UK are assessed in a robust and objective way, in order to protect the public. 

The NMC’s registration data reveals that nearly 5,000 people who trained outside the EEA have registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council over the last five years. The majority of nurses and midwives who trained overseas come from India, the Philippines or Australia.

Jackie Smith, NMC Chief Executive and Registrar, said:

“This approach to overseas registration is an internationally recognised and rigorous way of ensuring that those applying for registration who trained overseas are able to practise safely and effectively in the UK. The new process further demonstrates our continued commitment to making sure public protection remains at the heart of the systems and processes we use to maintain the register and reputation of the nursing and midwifery professions.

“The new system will not replace the need for employers to ensure that the staff they recruit display the behaviours, skills and knowledge necessary for the specific role to which they are recruited, and provide further support and development as required.” 

At the heart of the new registration process will be a test of competence. This will consist of two parts: a multiple choice scenario-based, secure computer-based examination and a practical objective structured clinical examination (OSCE). The competence test will assess applicants against the NMC’s standards for pre registration education.

More detail about the new registration process is available in the overseas registration handbook.

  

 -End-

Notes for editors

1.   We are the nursing and midwifery regulator for England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Islands. We exist to safeguard the health and wellbeing of the public. We set standards of education, training, conduct and performance for nurses and midwives, and hold the register of those who have qualified and meet those standards. We provide guidance to help nurses and midwives keep their skills and knowledge up to date and uphold our professional standards. We have clear and transparent processes to investigate and deal with nurses and midwives who fall short of our standards.

2.   For media enquiries, please contact NMC media team at media@nmc-uk.org or on 020 7681 5936.

3.   The new system of registration will only apply to those who trained outside the EEA.

Table 1: Total number of nurses and midwives by country of training

31 March

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

England

461,948

464,318

466,572

467,475

468,742

470,662

Northern Ireland

21,800

21,817

21,861

21,957

21,958

22,063

Scotland

70,609

70,942

71,150

71,174

71,210

71,510

Wales

27,118

27,511

27,867

28,205

28,419

28,703

EEA

9,103

10,244

12,298

14,493

16,796

20,914

OS

73,478

71,150

70,262

69,313

68,117

67,022

Total number of nurses and midwives

663,656

665,704

667,072

671,668

673,567

680,858

Table 2: Initial registrations by country of training

This table shows the number of nurses and midwives joining the register for the year ending 31 March. 

Year ending 31 March

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

England

17,571

15,814

15,391

15,232

16,884

18,191

Northern Ireland

682

549

632

654

607

720

Scotland

2,457

2,254

2,313

2,304

2,487

2,741

Wales

1,021

953

1,007

952

923

1,077

EEA

1,920

1,970

2,715

3,137

3,436

5,388

Overseas**

762

550

1,143

1,152

869

840

**Overseas includes all countries outside the EEA, where nurses and midwives register through the overseas application route. This figure is broken down further in Table 3.

 For NMC statistics from 2001–2008, visit the NMC website.