NMC: Readmission and practicing whilst lapsed


If you have lapsed from the NMC register due to a failed payment or by mistake it can be a massive shock. You will need to apply for readmission on NMC online and if you have worked without registration, the NMC will want to know more.

It is not a complicated process but it is important that it is completed accurately. Readmission can take 2-6 weeks but incomplete information can mean it will take considerably longer.

Follow the below and our readmission dos and don’ts.

This guidance provides general information on what to expect when you lapse from the register and some helpful tips. It is not meant to replace or supersede the NMC’s information.

If you have lapsed in error, tell your employer what has happened immediately.

The RCN recommends and the NMC supports that you work in another non-nursing capacity for the same employer wherever possible (for example as a Health Care Assistant) rather than automatic suspension. If you work in the NHS in Scotland there is a formal agreement with the Scottish Workforce and Staff Governance Secretariat (SWAG) to this affect.

If your employer suspends or takes disciplinary action against you, read more here and call us on 0345 7726100. If your employer asks you for a statement, read our guidance and call us for the statement to be checked before you submit it.

Start to gather your evidence such as new direct debit mandates or proof that you have updated your details with the NMC or on NMC online.

Follow the NMC’s guidance on readmission and apply via NMC online. It is important to act quickly but do not rush. Read our readmission dos and don’ts.

If you have worked as a nurse or midwife whilst lapsed

The NMC take this very seriously as you have worked outside the regulatory framework. On NMC online you will be asked to:

  • Complete a 250 character statement box as to why you practised or received any payment in a registered capacity after your registration had lapsed. You are given very little space to explain the situation but you will be given another opportunity to give a fuller explanation. It is important at every stage to show that understand that this is a serious matter. Follow our readmission dos and don’ts.
  • Complete a 1000 character statement box. This gives you the opportunity to explain what has happened. Take care and draft this and edit it carefully before writing your final draft in NMC online. Give a factual explanation of your role, your department/area where you work and a general description of the service users. Briefly explain how and why the lapse happened and the steps you will take to prevent a similar occurrence in the future.
  • Give the exact dates of when you have practised whilst lapsed. Make sure you are precise about this. There is a difference between dates employed whilst lapsed and dates you have actually practised whilst lapsed.
  • Download the NMC's reference guidance and prepare three references. Read the NMC’s guidance carefully and see our readmission dos and don’ts.

If you have worked whilst lapsed, after completing NMC online the NMC will send you another form to complete. Make sure you check your emails regularly and your junk/spam email folders. Add noreply@nmc-uk.org to your safe senders list so you do not miss any emails.

The form will:

  • Ask why you lapsed
  • Ask what were the circumstances leading up to the lapse
  • Ask for the exact dates you have worked whilst lapsed (make sure these are correct as stated in NMC online and within your references. Any discrepancies will lead to long delays)
  • What you will do to prevent this happening again
  • Note if you have previously lapsed. The NMC will view any repetition of lapsing very seriously.

Take care when completing this form. Your response could affect if your are allowed back on the register.

As part of the readmission process, the NMC will also ask for three references. The NMC's reference guidance document will be available to download on NMC online.

Read it carefully and follow our readmission dos and don’ts.

Hopefully, following the NMC’s guidance and our information, you will be back on the register quickly.

If you are unsuccessful and are refused readmission:

• Call us immediately on 0345 7726100.
• Gather your paperwork, we will need to see copies of everything sent to the NMC.

We can put you in touch with our legal team for advice on appealing the Registrar’s decision or reapplying to the register.

Always follow the NMC’s guidance on readmission. This guidance has been written to provide helpful tips, it is not meant to replace the NMC’s information or to supersede it.

Lapsing from the register can come as a massive shock with serious repercussions, especially if your employer decides to take action against you.

If you need emotional support, please contact our free counselling service.

RCN Counsellling

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

Need more help?

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Page last updated - 05/03/2019