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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 why.

It is not a complicated process, but it is important that it is completed accurately. Readmission can take up to 6 weeks but if the application is completed correctly, it can typically take a matter of days.

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

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 your employer suspends or takes disciplinary action against you, read more here and contact us. If your employer asks you for a statement, read this 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.

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 reflective statement as to why you practised or received any payment in a registered capacity after your registration had lapsed.

It is important at every stage to show that understand that this is a serious matter. Our readmission dos and don’ts can help.

Your reflective statement should include the following:

  • The circumstances leading up to your registration lapsing including any relevant reasons such sickness, a financial or family crisis.
  • A brief account setting out your understanding of your professional obligation to ensure that you have effective registration.
  • Appreciation of the seriousness of working without registration.
  • If you’ve previously worked without registration, reference this in your statement, along with reasons.
  • Assurance that you will not repeat this and explain how you will maintain your registration in the future.
  • Note the date range that you have worked whilst lapsed and the number of days during this timeframe. Make sure you are precise about this. Remember, there is a difference between dates employed whilst lapsed and dates you have actually worked whilst lapsed.

As part of the readmission process, the NMC will also ask for three references. Your referees need to be three different people but they need to be on the same part of the register as you.

On NMC online you will need to enter the:

  1. name and NMC PIN of the NMC registrant who will provide your good health and character reference. They must have known you for the last year and been in contact in the last 6 months.
  2. name and email address of your employment referee. Make sure you enter the correct email address for the person you want the NMC to contact.
  3. name and email address of someone on the NMC’s list of approved signatories, that you’ve known for the last year.

The NMC's reference guidance document is available to download on NMC online. Read it carefully. Mistakes with references can lead to delays.

The NMC may ask for more information. Take your time with your response 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 contact us immediately and 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.

If your employer suspends or takes disciplinary action against you, read more here and contact us


Read more about the disciplinary process and when to contact us for support. 

Statements, investigations and discipline

Find out how to write a statement, prepare for an investigation and understand the disciplinary process.

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