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Nurses, midwives and nursing associates trained abroad

Information for employers

Applicants from outside the EU or EEA

We launched a new process for registering nurses and midwives who trained outside the EU in October 2019.

We’re changing our test of competence in summer 2020 to reflect our new standards for nurses and midwives.

Find out more about the test of competence review.

International recruitment toolkit

NHS Employers have published a toolkit for colleagues involved in leading and delivering international recruitment in the NHS.

It covers good practices and processes for the recruitment of international staff across a wide range of professions, including nurses.

Read the toolkit on the NHS Employers website.

Applicants from the EU or EEA

EEA countries include the 28 member states of the EU, as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. The same rules also apply to Switzerland.

The process of recognising qualifications from the EU and EEA is governed by strict legislation based on the principle of freedom of movement.

Due to EU regulations, we cannot:

  • request transcripts of training or test the knowledge of applicants trained within the EU or EEA who meet EU requirements for direct entry to the register
  • check whether a nurse or midwife who meets the EU requirements for direct entry to the register has undertaken any professional experience since they originally qualified, regardless of how long ago they qualified

EU legislation does not prevent you as the employer from assuring yourselves that the nurse, midwife or nursing associate you recruit is competent, safe to practise, has up-to-date and contemporary knowledge and has the necessary language and communication skills.

It's your responsibility to ensure that your recruitment systems are robust and only those applicants who are able to carry out the full duties of a nurse, midwife or nursing associate are employed to these roles.