Nurses and midwives from overseas will now go online to submit their application to Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) for registration.
NMC said that overseas nurses and midwives will find the online process effective Monday, 7 October 2019, quicker and more accessible than ever before.
“We have listened to people’s feedback and I’m pleased to announce that from today nurses, midwives and nursing associates from abroad will benefit from this improved process,” said Emma Broadbent, Director of Registration and Revalidation at the NMC.
As part of the professional regulator’s commitment to improving its approach to overseas registration, the latest changes have been designed to offer a more efficient and streamlined experience and help ensure qualified nursing and midwifery professionals can get into practice where they are needed.
Applicants will be able to apply through an online system, rather than paper, which will provide them with a personal account to track their progress instantly.
“We want to make sure that those who meet our requirements are able to join our register as quickly and efficiently as possible. We are hopeful that by simplifying the application process, we will continue to make the UK an attractive option for those coming from abroad,” Broadbent said.
“This is another example of how the NMC is committed to positively addressing nursing and midwifery shortages that exist in health services, adult social care services and within local communities across the UK,” Broadbent added.
Direct Link to NMC Online: https://www.nmc.org.uk/registration/nmc-online/
Other key improvements include streamlined requirements to confirm a candidate’s competence. For example, instead of asking for training transcripts, the NMC will confirm they hold the qualification that would lead to registration in their home country.
There will also be a redesigned guidance page on the NMC website, including easy read guidelines and a new pre-application checklist tool that can be shared with employers and recruiters.
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Unnecessary delays in registration can mean applicants aren’t able to practice in their chosen profession and it can put them at risk of losing work or, sometimes, having to return home.
The NMC has made making these changes to ensure that highly-skilled nursing and midwifery professionals can join the UK workforce as quickly as possible in order to carry out their role of delivering better, safer care for people using health and care services.
“Nursing and midwifery is at the heart of our NHS and the social care sector, and it is important that we make those joining the health service, whether from at home or abroad, feel as welcome as possible,” Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock said.
“With an increasing number of applicants from around the world, this secure and efficient online service from the NMC will make it quicker for highly trained midwives, nurses and nursing associates to be able to provide compassionate care to their patients,” he added.
The NMC has seen a significant increase – rising from 2,720 last year to 6,157 in March this year – in the number of nurses and midwives joining the register for the first time from outside of the EU.
This follows a number of changes in recent years made by the NMC to better support applicants through the registration process, which included an updated practical examination (OSCE) resit policy (allowing candidates to re-sit only the portion of the exam they failed), improved preparation materials (including a mock examination and marking criteria) and updated English language requirements.