The UK’s Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has moved the application process for overseas nurses to an online platform.
The new digitised process is part of a wider series of improvements which include the removal of an ‘unnecessary’ extra English test for overseas nurses and the change to the OET Writing score.
Going digital with NMC Online
NMC Online is a secure service that will now allow overseas nurses and midwives to manage their registration application online.
Each nurse and midwife will be able to set up an NMC Online account, where they can view and track their registration status. By moving the process online, overseas nurses and midwives will no longer need to download and send paper forms.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said that nursing and midwifery sit at the heart of the NHS.
“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 said.
The NMC will also now ask referrers for supporting documents directly, further reducing the number of administration tasks candidates must undertake.
Alongside NMC Online, candidates will also be able to access a new pre-application checklist tool. It will help overseas nurses and midwives understand if they’re ready to apply and what evidence they will need.
Simplifying requirements for overseas nurses
The council is also working on streamlining candidate requirements.
It will no longer ask for training transcripts and will instead confirm that the nurse or midwife has a qualification that would allow them to register in their country of training.
The NMC is also looking at reducing instances of double handling by identifying opportunities to reuse information. Similarly, the Council has changed the OET Writing score required to register with the NMC from a B to a C+.
Emma Broadbent, Director of Registration and Revalidation at the NMC, said that changes are based on stakeholder feedback.
“We want to make sure that those who meet our requirements are able to join our register as quickly and efficiently as possible,” she said. “We are hopeful that by simplifying the application process, we will continue to make the UK an attractive option for those coming from abroad.
To make sure candidates are aware of what they need to do, the Council is also improving the guidance and support they offer.
Candidates can expect to find clearer explanations of what the requirements are, why they are needed and what to expect during the process.
New competence test for the future
In 2020, the NMC will be launching a brand-new test of competency to align with their upcoming nursing standards.
The test will be overseen by an assurance panel made up of experienced professionals drawn from nursing, midwifery and other healthcare professions.
All NMC applications need proof of English language proficiency before registration. OET is the only global English language test made for nurses and midwives.
With only one test needed for Tier 2 (general) UK visas and a C+ for Writing, there has never been a better time to take OET. Head over to our website for more information about how OET can help nurses and midwives with registration with the NMC.