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NMC requirements for overseas qualified nurses

In order to work as a nurse or midwife in the UK you must apply to join the register of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

The NMC requires applicants who trained outside the UK to demonstrate that they are capable of practising safely and effectively, taking into account their qualification, training and experience.

Applicants must also demonstrate they have the necessary knowledge of English to communicate effectively.

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NMC update: COVID-19 temporary registration for eligible overseas candidates

If you have already booked a place at an OSCE exam centre, you may be eligible to apply to join the NMC’s COVID-19 temporary register. For further information, please see the NMC's page COVID-19 temporary registration for overseas candidates

If you trained within the EU or EEA

Read more about the requirements for joining the NMC register if you trained within the EU or EEA

If you trained outside the EU or EEA

Read more about the requirements for joining the NMC register if you trained outside the EU or EEA
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Changes to the assessment of English language competence

In 2017, the NMC made changes and revisions to the way they assess English language competence. This included providing applicants with additional options to demonstrate their proficiency in English, recognising the OET as an alternative to IELTS, and lowering the accepted IELTS writing score from 7, down to 6.5.

Find out more

Information and resources

There is information on preparing for IELTS, OET and OSCE exams, including where to find helpful resources, practice materials and sample tests.

Further support for RCN members

If your immigration status will be affected by any of your test results, you can access the RCN's Immigration Advice Service.

You can find exam and test preparation books and eBooks using our Library reading list. RCN members can borrow books and access eBooks online. 

Preparing for IELTS, OET and OSCE exams

Resources and useful links to help you prepare for your exams 


RCN members already in the UK can get confidential support and assistance on immigration issues.