Next steps to expand NMC Covid-19 temporary register

2 April 2020

Commenting on today's joint statement on expanding nursing and midwifery workforce in the Covid-19 pandemic, Andrea Sutcliffe CBE, Chief Executive and Registrar for the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), said:

Over the past few weeks, we have worked closely with our partners across health and social care to agree a number of joint actions to support so many nursing and midwifery professionals, current and former, along with students, who are eager to join the response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Since the NMC Covid-19 temporary register came into force last week, it’s fantastic to the around 8000 people sign up, which is an amazing response. We’re all very grateful to everyone who has come forward.

But as the pandemic continues to escalate and intensify, it’s clear we will need even more people to join in the efforts against Covid-19, to make sure the NHS and social care can keep on providing care for people whatever their needs are. This is why we are setting out our plans to enable some nurses and midwives with overseas qualifications and those who left our register within the last four and five years to join our Covid-19 temporary register.

Early next week, we will be writing to around 1,800 skilled nurses and midwives who have trained overseas. Many of these people are already working in health and social care settings and have completed the process for NMC registration, but have not been able to sit their final clinical examination.

Later next week, we will also be writing to 40,000 experienced former nurses and midwives who voluntarily left their professions within the last four and five years.

To make sure these two important groups of people can make a difference safely and quickly during this emergency, we have agreed appropriate conditions that will be placed on their temporary registration to ensure safe and supported practice.

“In this time of incredible need, I am deeply indebted to everyone working across health and social care for their incredible and selfless response to Covid-19. These are truly unprecedented times and seeing such dedication and heroic efforts being made daily by so many will be remembered for generations to come.”


Background information
Further information will be regularly updated on our website:
To ensure the safety of both the professionals and the public, we have set conditions of practice for each group, which are available as a part of our joint statement here.
Our emergency Covid-19 temporary register was launched last Friday 27 March 2020. We have or will be inviting the following groups to join this emergency register, in the order set out in the following list, to ensure we build up the temporary register in a safe and measured way:
a. Nurses and midwives who left the register within the last three years (This was sent out on Thursday 19 March 2020)
b. Overseas applicants, including both nurses and midwives, who have completed all parts of their NMC registration process except the final clinical examination (OSCE) will be contacted earlier next week (week commencing 6 April).
c. Nurses and midwives who have left the register within the last four and five years will be contacted late next week (week commencing 6 April).
4. We have already enabled nursing and midwifery students in their final six months of their programme to have the option to move into extended clinical placements now to assist with the response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
5. We are not yet opening the emergency register to nursing students in the final 6 months of programme. We will keep this under close review in discussion with our partners in all four countries to determine whether and if so when the temporary register should be opened to nursing students in the last six months of their programme.

For further media enquiries, please contact the NMC press office on 0207 681 5984 or by email

About the NMC
As the professional regulator of nurses and midwives in the UK, and nursing associates in England, we work to ensure these professionals have the knowledge and skills to deliver consistent, quality care that keeps people safe.
We set the education standards professionals must achieve to practise in the United Kingdom. When they have shown both clinical excellence and a commitment to kindness, compassion and respect, we welcome them onto our register of more than 700,000 professionals.
Once registered, nurses, midwives sand nursing associates must uphold the standards and behaviours set out in our Code so that people can have confidence that they will consistently receive quality, safe care wherever they’re treated.
We promote lifelong learning through revalidation, encouraging professionals to reflect on their practice and how the Code applies in their day-to-day work.
On the rare occasions that care goes wrong, or falls short of people’s expectations, we can step in to investigate, and take action when needed. But we want to prevent something going wrong in the first place. So, we promote a culture that encourages professionals to be open and learn from mistakes, gives the public an equal voice and where everyone involved is treated with kindness and compassion.
If we’re to play our part in making sure safe, high quality and consistent standards of care can be delivered, we need to continue to improve. That is why we are working with people, professionals and our partners to co-produce a new long-term strategy, one that’ll help us to support nurses, midwives and nursing associates to deliver even better, safer care.