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Nursing Council Registration & Registered Nurse’s in the UK


Language Requirements

Language requirement Applicants must be able to show that they can communicate clearly and effectively in English. They must complete the International English Language Testing System (UKVI IELTS) and achieve a minimum score of at least seven overall and in each of the four skills in one sitting. There are no exceptions to this requirement, even if English is their first language. We will verify the scores with the IELTS organisation. Please note that NMC will not accept IELTS test results that are more than two years old at the time the registration application is submitted.

Practice requirements

At the time of the application, the applicant must have practised as a registered nurse or midwife for at least 12 months (full time or the part-time equivalent) after qualifying. This post-registration experience must be relevant to the field of practice the applicant is applying for. Any practice that is not covered by registration cannot be considered for the requirement of 12-months post-registration experience. If the applicant has been qualified for longer than this, they must have also practised for at least 450 hours in the previous three years. We define 'practising' as working in some capacity by virtue of their registration as a nurse or midwife. Practice can include administrative, supervisory, teaching, research and managerial roles as well as providing direct patient care. This can also include volunteer work as long as any practice is registered. If the applicant has not undertaken any duties as a registered nurse or midwife in the three years prior to making their application, they should contact us to discuss available options. If the applicant is a midwife but has not practised midwifery in the five years prior to their application, they must do a return to midwifery practice course in their home country before they can apply to register with NMC.

Registration requirements

Applicants must hold a current registration or licence without restriction with the licensing authority or registration body in the country in which they qualified or have been practising. If applicants have worked as a nurse or midwife in more than one country or state, we require them to be registered with the licensing authority or registration body in all the countries/states where they have worked. We will require verification from that authority regardless of the length of their employment. Applicants must provide the details of all practice undertaken as a registered nurse or midwife including verification documents and registration certificates.

Applicants must complete a self-assessment of their eligibility to apply prior to beginning the application process. They must declare that they meet all of the minimum requirements including good health and good character. They must also confirm that they understand that they must provide supporting evidence of these declarations during the assessment stage of the process. If an applicant confirms the declarations and cannot provide evidence at the assessment stage, their application will not be progressed and their assessment fee cannot be refunded.

Test of Competence – Part one

Once applicants have passed the eligibility assessment, they will be asked to sit the first part of the test of competence. This will be a computer based test of theoretical practice-based knowledge. The test format will be multiple choice and can be taken in test centres around the world. Applicants have two attempts at the test. If an applicant fails to achieve the required minimum score after both attempts, they must wait six months in order to restart the application process. The test provider, Pearson VUE, will administer their own test fee in agreement with us. Applicants will need to contact Pearson VUE directly to book and pay for their test.

Test of Competence – Part two

The second part of the test of competence will assess an applicant’s clinical knowledge. The test is an objective-structured clinical examination (OSCE) and can only be completed in the UK. The test will be administered by the University of Northampton who will administer their own test fee in agreement with us. Applicants will need to contact the university directly to book and pay for their test. The OSCE will simulate a clinical environment and patient scenarios which registered nurses and midwives are likely to encounter when they assess, plan, implement and evaluate care. The OSCE contains nursing or midwifery scenarios along with separate skill stations. Each separate clinical examination is known a ‘station’ and candidates will circulate through all the stations within a set timeframe. Each of the six stations has standardised marking criteria against which all candidates are assessed. Candidates are assessed by a panel of examiners and will be filmed for quality assurance purposes. Candidates are expected to demonstrate competence through safe and effective practice. The test of competence is based on current UK pre-registration standards

ID check

After completing part two of the test of competence, the applicant will have a faceto-face ID check. They will be required to bring all the original documents that they have uploaded as supporting evidence for their application. The ID check will take place at the OSCE location. If applicants cannot produce the documents required, they will have to rebook an ID check at our London office before they can complete the last stage of the process and receive their registration number.

Final Registration

Once NMC has received notification that an applicant has successfully completed part two of the test of competence and the ID check, they will be invited to complete their final declaration and payment for registration online. Once both have been received, NMC will send the applicant their registration number (Pin).



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