Recruitment Procedures for Overseas Nurses Who Wants to Work in the UK

Jun 17, 2019
Paul Johnson

Overseas nurses and midwives can work in the UK. And there are presently no restrictions on the number of applicants that are allowed in the sector. However, the recruitment procedures could be cumbersome and tiring if it’s not properly navigated.

The first thing every aspiring applicant is expected to do is to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). The registration is a professional registration that checks, verifies and tests the qualifications of the applicants. NMC subjects the applicants to some particular tests according to their standards that helps to affirm if you can work safely and effectively in the UK.

The basic requirements from NMC are for the applicants to have attended at least a 3-year, full-time nursing or midwifery training. And they must have completed at least 10 years of school education before going for training in the nursing or midwifery field. Another vital thing NMC wants to find out is your English Language communication skills.

Your communication skills will be checked in speaking, reading, listening, and writing. This is examined with the International English Language Test System (IELTS). And according to the latest update from NMC, nurses and midwives are required to score at least a total level of 7 in the IELTS. Below is the appropriate requirement of what the IELTS certificate presented by the nurses should show:

  • A minimum 7.0 in the listening, reading and speaking
  • A minimum of 6.5 in the writing test
  • A minimum 7.0 overall score.

Applicants can sit for two IELTS tests where the scores of the two tests must be above 6.5. Also, when the results of the two tests are added together, they must have achieved 7.0 or more in all the four parts, that is, writing, listening, reading, and speaking. However, the two tests must be taken within 6 months.

Afterwards, you are to confirm if you are eligible for an application through a self-assessment exercise online. This is the first procedure that checks the minimum requirements of your health conditions and character before the competence test.

The competence of the overseas nurses and midwives are scrutinised through a two-step procedure before they can gain registration with the NMC. The steps involve are:

  • Computer-based multiple-choice examination (CBT)
  • A practical objective structured clinical examination (OSCE)

Competence Test- Part one

This is the first stage of the competence test. And all overseas applicants are expected to pass the computer-based test (CBT) for them to move to the next stage. This step involves the applicants to answer multiple-choice questions of about 120 questions within 4 hours. And the pass mark of the test is an overall score of 60%, where 90% of the questions must be answered correctly. More so, applicants can only re-sit for the test twice.

Competence Test- Part Two

The objective structure clinical examination (OSCE) is the next stage of the application process. This particular test can only be taken in the UK at any of the 6 standardised test centres. The clinical knowledge of the applicants is critically assessed with nursing or midwifery scenarios, along with separate skill stations.