Your web browser is outdated and may be insecure

The RCN recommends using an updated browser such as Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome

NMC: Admission and readmission dos and don’ts

This guidance provides general information on what to expect and some helpful tips, it is not meant to replace or supersede the NMC’s information.


  • Gather your paperwork and evidence early. Don’t wait to be asked by the NMC.
  • Keep copies of all paperwork.
  • Act quickly but take care to make sure everything is right the first time.
  • Make sure you don’t miss emails from the NMC. Check your spam/junk email folders regularly and add to your safe senders list.
  • If you have worked whilst lapsed, read our guidance here.
  • Take care with references. Read the NMC's reference guidance carefully.

When explaining events to the NMC:

  • Use the first person (i.e. ‘I’), avoid jargon and use full names and job titles of colleagues.
  • Consider your feelings. Try to explore what you were feeling at the time and afterward. Did these feelings change? This can include feelings such as shame, embarrassment, guilt, regret, relief (that no one was harmed).
  • Consider any positive aspects of your actions. For example, you made an error but realised quickly and dealt with it promptly in accordance with policy.
  • Consider the impact of your conduct on: patients, your colleagues, your employer, the reputation of the nursing profession.
  • Offer a sincere apology (if appropriate), for example if you have lapsed in error or if you are applying for admission, or readmission following a caution or conviction. The NMC will expect you to demonstrate remorse and insight.
  • Include a reassurance that this event will not reoccur and provide evidence of this where possible (for example copies of direct debit mandates).
  • Include reassurance as to your future conduct, a brief explanation of what being a nurse means to you and your hopes for your future career.

Always follow the NMC’s guidance on admission and readmission.


  • Rush. Take your time to read the NMC’s guidance.
  • Use patient names.
  • Blame someone else for your actions.
  • Treat events lightly – cautions, convictions or practising without registration are serious issues.
  • Send out of date information.
  • Assume the application will be successful. The NMC will determine whether it considers you to have sufficient good health and good character.

When to contact us

Please contact us if you;

  • are in dispute with your university about joining the register, or
  • have been refused readmission to the register.


Public health topic areas

Search our advice guides

They'll answer many of your questions about work. 

Student nurses

See our student nurses advice guide for information about fitness to practise, registration, placements and appeals.

Professional practice

Read our advice on medicines management, immunisation, revalidation,  practice standards and mental health.

RCN Counselling

Get help with the emotional impact of problems at work through our dedicated counselling service for members.

Page last updated - 30/05/2022