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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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UPDATE - New English language testing options for overseas nurses

In the last year or so, the NMC have made a number of changes and revisions to the way they assess English language competence. This includes 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


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

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 subject guide. RCN members can borrow books and access eBooks online. 

Preparing for IELTS, OET and OSCE exams

A list of resources and useful links to help you prepare for your IELTS and OSCE exams