The Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC)
To work as a nurse in the UK, you will have to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).
The NMC is the nursing registration board in the UK. In September 2005, the NMC introduced a new programme which every applicant trained outside the EEA (European Economic Area) has to undertake successfully before they are able to register in the UK. This is known as the Overseas Nursing Programme (ONP).
The NMC register has three parts;
- Specialist community public health nurses
The nurses part of the register is divided into four fields of practice:
- Adult nursing
- Mental health nursing
- Learning disabilities nursing
- Children’s nursing
You can apply to be on the nurses or midwives part of the Register, as long as you meet the standards. If you have trained as a general nurse, you should apply for registration as an adult nurse. If you want to register on more than one part of the register, you should apply for each part at the same time.
Eligibility to Join the NMC Register
For overseas staff eligibility to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council in general or specialist areas of nursing in the UK, depends on the following points:
You must be able to show you can communicate clearly and effectively in English. You must complete the academic version of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and achieve an overall average score of seven (out of a possible nine) and at least seven in each of the listening, reading, writing and speaking sessions. The NMC will not accept lower scores and will independently verify them with the IELTS. It is your responsibility to arrange and pay for this test and provide the NMC with the results.
You must have completed a post-secondary education nursing or midwifery programme, leading to registration in your home country as a first level registered nurse or midwife. Prior to your post-secondary education, you should have successfully completed at least 10 years of school education before your post-secondary programme.
When you apply you must have been practicing as a registered nurse or midwife for at least 12 months (full time or part time equivalent) after qualifying. If you have been qualified for longer than 12 months you must have practised for at least 450 hours in the previous three years (if you have not completed 450 hours in the last three years, you may still be eligible, but would required to complete a longer version of the ONP programme).
Speciality Specific Requirements
You must have completed a 3 year full time course at post secondary level leading to registration as a general nurse, which includes theoretical and practical instruction in:
- General and Specialist Medicine
- General and Specialist Surgery
- Childcare and Paediatrics
- Maternity (obstetric) Care
- Mental Health and Psychiatry
- Care of the Elderly
- Community / Primary Care Nursing.
Mental Health Nursing
You must have completed either a 3 year general nursing course followed by a 12 month mental health nursing course or a 3 year full time mental health nursing course. Courses must include theoretical and practical instruction in:
- Mental health nursing in a range of settings including acute and enduing chronic illness.
- Care for children and young people with mental health problems
- Specialist mental health care
- Care for adults with mental health problems
- Continuing care and rehabilitation
- Community care.
You must have completed either a three year general nursing course followed by a 12 month children’s nursing course or a 3 year, full time children’s nursing course. Course must include theoretical and practical instruction in
- Care for children in a range of care settings, including specialist medicine and surgery.
- Care for children in emergency, neonatal and high-dependency environments.
- Care for children at home, in school and in the community.
- Working with families and carers to care for sick children of all ages.
Learning Disabilities Nursing
You must have completed either a three year general nursing course followed by a 12 month learning disabilities nursing course, or a 3 year full time learning disabilities nursing course. Courses must include theoretical and practical instruction in:
- Learning disability nursing in a range of care environments including residential and day-care settings.
- Learning disability nursing in a range of environments to support people who have complex needs and mental health problems.
- Care for people of all ages (from childhood to old age) who have learning disabilities.
- Working with families and carers to support people who have learning disabilities.
- Continuing care and rehabilitation.