The United Kingdom (UK) left the European Union (EU) on 31 January 2020. It then entered into a transition period, which came to an end on 31 December 2020.

This page sets out what the end of the transition period means for those on, or applying to, our register with EU qualifications.

If you're already on our register

Please know that if you're already on our register there is nothing more that you need to do.

You will continue to be a highly valued part of the nursing and midwifery professions, delivering quality care to patients and the public even though the UK has left the EU.

Applying to join our register 

If you trained in the EU, EEA or EFTA (excluding Switzerland)

During the transition period, there was no change to the way we registered people with qualifications gained in an EU, European Economic Area (EEA) or European Free Trade Area (EFTA) country. When we talk about EFTA, we mean people who are from Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

To make sure your application progresses under our previous EU/EEA registration process, you must have started your application and paid your assessment fee by 31 December 2020. You have six months from the date you started your application, or the date we requested further information from you, to return your supporting evidence to us.

What if I didn't begin an application or pay my assessment fee by 31 December 2020?

The UK Government has introduced legislation that aims to reduce any disruption that the end of the transition period may have, making sure that applicants who hold non-UK qualifications are treated equally and fairly. See the UK Government guidance on what this means for healthcare professionals.

The type of application and evidence you’ll need to provide to register will depend on your qualifications, rather than nationality.

Under the terms of the Government’s approach, if you hold a qualification gained in an EU, EEA or EFTA country and you want to join our register from 1 January 2021, you’ll need to follow the same application process as those trained outside the EU.

You may have to pay different fees and a small number of people with certain qualifications may have their skills and knowledge assessed by a Test of Competence.

This interim process will be used for up to two years (except Switzerland). We'll continue to review the process and any further changes as the situation develops.

Adult nurses or midwives

If you’re a nurse responsible for general care (known as an adult nurse in the UK) or midwife who has a qualification that meets the EU requirements for automatic recognition, you’ll be able to have your qualification recognised by us, and you won’t need to take a Test of Competence.

The total cost for application and registration of those with a qualification that meets our requirements is £293 (an assessment fee of £140 and initial registration fee of £153).

EU specialist nurses

As EU specialist nurse qualifications - such as children’s or mental health nursing - have never held automatic recognition under EU law, new applicants holding these EU qualifications will need to take a Test of Competence from 1 January 2021.

The total cost for application and registration is £1,170. This cost could be higher if you need to resit tests. 

The breakdown of costs for different stages is:

  • Qualification evaluation fee - £140 (non-refundable)
  • Test of Competence part one: Computer-based test (CBT) - £83
  • Test of Competence part two: Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) - £794
  • Registration fee for entry onto our register - £153

Further information

Find out more about the overseas application process for:

If you're a Swiss national

The UK Government has reached an agreement with Switzerland for a new relationship from 1 January 2021.

This means that if you’re a Swiss national, or a dependent or spouse with acquired rights in Switzerland, and you hold a qualification that would previously have been automatically recognised by EU law, you will still be able to use this qualification to apply for registration with us as long as you started training before 31 December 2020.

This process will continue for up to four years under the terms of the agreement.

If you're working or looking to work in the EU

If you're a UK-trained nurse, midwife or nursing associate and you're already registered by an EU member state, your registration in that country will not be affected.

If you want to apply for registration in an EU member state after the transition period, there may be some changes depending on the result of the UK Government’s negotiations with the EU and the individual registration requirements of the country which you’re looking to work in.