UK Nursing Recruitment

become a Registered Nurse in the UK?

Welcome to Extenseur HR – Nurse Jobs in the UK. Here we describe all the details an Overseas Nurse search in the Google or inquire with recruiters or agents and consultancies or even with friends, colleagues and family. This page explains the most updated details about how an Overseas Nurse become a Registered Nurse in the UK.

Why become a registered nurse in the UK?

Nurse jobs in the UK is first among the shortage occupancy list of the UK. Requirement for the nurse job is on demand and hence government and private hospitals, care homes have to recruit Overseas Nurses to fill the occupancy. Pay scale in the UK for Nurses is one of the best as compared to other countries in the world. The procedures to get the pin number (UK nursing registration) is much easier on comparison with equal status countries. Hence with high pay scale, large number of vacancies and easy to complete registration process make UK nursing jobs favorable to Overseas nurses.

Moreover, the amount of support for nurses and midwives from  NHS and private employers are tremendous.  Mostly all the employers are paying half of the initial expenses towards the NMC registration and placement as refund in a category of relocation package. This will be a huge benefit for the overseas applicant. Paramilitary the financial and non-financial benefits from the UK employers are much better than other countries.

What are the procedures for Overseas Nurse or Midwives to get UK nursing registration?

Stage 1

Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) UK, govern nursing in the UK. To begin with the application, candidates must meet the NMC eligibility criteria;

  • IELTS academic score of “7” in each modules or OET “B” score in each modules.



Stage 2

Those who meet the eligibility criteria can start the procedure of UK NMC registration by submitting joining the register on the NMC website. Applicants must complete an online self assessment of their ability to apply before starting the application process.  Once the applicant complete initial registration with NMC UK, they are required to wait for notification from NMC in order to proceed with the eligibility stages.  There are two round of competency exams are there for the candidates in order to qualify as a registered nurse in the UK.

Stage 3

Once the NMC notification received, candidates can register for CBT exam, the 1st round of competency exam by clicking the Pearson VUE link received from NMC. Computer Based Test (CBT) is an online exam with 120 subject based, objective type questions with a maximum duration of 240 minutes to complete. The test result will be published within few hours of the exam on the Pearson VUE candidates portal. This test can be attended anywhere in the world.

Stage 4

Those who passed the CBT exam can continue their NMC registration process by paying an NMC application fee of £140 on the candidates portal. There are 2 attempts for the candidates to clear the exam within 6 months time. The payment can only be done by using a credit card. After the successful payment, candidates NMC portal will be available for documentation face.

Stage 5

NMC full application & Assessment stage (documentation stage) is the most crucial part of the registration process where candidates need to declare their proof of identity, English language skill, Professional education & Training, Post-Qualification registration, Work experience, Good character & Good health and confirmation of declaration.

Stage 6

After the successful submission of NMC documentation stage, NMC UK will take maximum of 40 – 60 working days to take a decision against your application whether the applicant if eligible to continue with the NMC registration process or not by issue an NMC Decision letter.

Stage 7

The 2nd round of competency exam is the OSCE and it can only be attended in the UK. There are 3 attempts for the candidates in order to clear the exam within 8 months’ time. Those who successfully completed OSCE exam will be eligible for UK NMC pin number.

Stage 8

The final stage is the identity check, registration fee payment of £153 & Declaration stage. 

Requirement for an applicant?

In the month of October NMC has made a crucial change in one of the procedures. According to the new rule newly registered nurse can also apply for the UK NMC registration regardless of the previous requirement-stating minimum of 12-month experience. In 2017, important changes were made in proving the English language requirements. NMC now accept OET “B” in all module together with IELTS as entry criteria. 

Moreover, NMC proposed a change to IELTS requirement for overseas nurses and midwives, which is 6.5 in writing, would be accepted alongside a level 7 in reading, listening and speaking.

NMC proposes changes to English language test

Proposed change to IELTS requirement to be considered by NMC’s Council next week

Our Council will consider proposed changes to the requirements for nurses and midwives from outside the UK taking the International English Language Test System (IELTS). This is part of our extensive review of international registration.

Under the proposal, nurses and midwives will be required to continue to achieve a minimum overall level of 7 in the IELTS test, but in future a level 6.5 in writing would be accepted alongside a level 7 in reading, listening and speaking.

The NMC has consulted widely with stakeholders and heard that despite being able to communicate to a high level in English, many nurses and midwives taking the IELTS test were just missing out on achieving a level 7.

Exam requirements of an NMC applicant?

Since October 2014, nurses and midwifes trained outside EU/EEA have to successfully complete a 2-part NMC application process in order to get NMC pin number. These tests measure applicants against the current UK Pre-Registration education standards. The essential professional knowledge, skills and attitudes required for safe and effective nursing or midwifery practice in the UK are being assessed in these examinations.

Part one a computer based test (CBT) which is multiple-choice examination and will be accessible in many countries around the world for applicants to access from their home countries.

Part twoa practical examination, objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) which will be held in the UK at 3 specified Universities.

Which are the Pre-registration fields in the UK?

Nursing in the UK is made up of separate and distinct fields of practice, each requiring 3 years of pre-registration undergraduate. The distinct nursing fields of practice are:

Which are the Pre-registration fields in the UK?

Midwifery Application: 

  • Registered Midwife

Nursing Application: 

  • Registered nurse (adult-general)
  • Registered nurse (mental health)
  • Registered nurse (learning disabilities)
  • Registered nurse (children)

In the UK, midwifery is a separate and distinct profession, requiring 3 years of pre-registration undergraduate education.

What is CBT?

NMC Part 1 test of competence is a computer based test (CBT). The CBT is multiple choice and can be taken at a Pearson VUE test centre available in most countries around the world. The nursing CBT is made up of 120 multiple choice questions. These questions must be completed in a maximum of 4 hours (240 Minutes). 

50 questions will relate to generic nursing competencies found in each domain of nursing.

50 questions will be the application of generic nursing competencies to the specific field of nursing being applied for (adult, child, learning disability or mental health nursing).

20 questions will focus solely on the specific competencies required for the field of nursing being applied for. There are 20 critical questions within the exam which focus on patient or public safety.

How to answer the CBT questions? 

Maintain a reasonable pace by spending no more than two minutes on each item. Always select the answer you believe to be the ‘most’ correct from the options offered. The CBT does not use negative scoring if a question is not answered.

Passing or failing

The decision as to whether a candidate passes or fails the CBT is governed by both critical questions and an overall pass mark. A candidate must answer 90 percent of critical questions correctly and an overall score is set at 60 percent to pass the CBT.

What is OSCE?

Part 2 test of competence is a nursing or midwifery OSCE – a practical nursing or midwifery examination. The OSCE can only be sat after successfully passing Part 1 and only the NMC can authorize a candidate to take Part 2 (the OSCE). Once the applicant has received confirmation from the NMC of a successful pass in Part 1, the applicant can approach for the part 2 test OSCE. The OSCE test can only be attended in the UK. 

In Part 2 the Overseas Nurses will be tested on your clinical and communication skills. In other words, the applicants will demonstrate how you apply holistic patient centered nursing or midwifery care and apply key clinical skills.

The OSCE is made up of six stations, each stages lasting 15 minutes. Four stations will be scenario based and relate to:

       1) Assessment- holistic patient centered

       2) Planning

       3) Implementation

       4) Evaluation

All of which are stages of nursing and midwifery care. Two stations will be testing practical clinical skills.

Typical skills which may be tested either on their own or within a nursing/midwifery scenario include:

  • Vital signs
  • Calculating drug dosages
  • Subcutaneous & Intramuscular injections
  • Basic Life Support – cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (adult, child, baby)
  • Safe disposal of sharps
  • Medication administration
  • Peak Expiration Flow Rate (PEFR)
  • Wound care
  • All aspects of Urinary catheterisation & care
  • Hand hygiene
  • Palpation (Midwifery)
  • Auscultation of fetal heart (Midwifery)
  • New born examination (Midwifery)
  • Communication skills

Communication is central to nursing and midwifery practice and will continually be assessed during the OSCE’s. The full range of communication skills (verbal, nonverbal and written) by observing the interaction between the candidate and a simulated patient (this may be an actor or a nursing manikin) and also the  nursing or midwifery documentation in each station will be assessed.

What are the potential results?

Pass = Candidates who pass all six scenarios and skills stations at the first attempt

Partial Fail (APIE) = Candidates fail a single scenario but pass ALL skills stations (Fail and will require a partial Re-sit at 50% cost) Therefore you will need to sit all APIE stations at your resit. You will be required to sit an entirely new scenario, not just the specific station(s) you have failed.

Partial Fail (Skills) = Candidates pass all scenario stations but fail one or more skills station (Fail and will require a partial Re-sit at 50% cost) Therefore you will need to sit 2 skills at your resit. You will be required to sit the station you failed to show competence in, plus another from the list of skills in your handbook.

Full Fail (1st attempt) = Candidates who fail more than one scenario or skills station (Fail and will require full Re-sit at full cost) Therefore you will need to sit all APIE & 2 skills stations at your resit.

Full Fail (Re-sit) = Candidates who fail either or both APIE or skills on their resit attempt will require 6mths to elapse before sitting the OSCE again (Full cost) in its entirety by way of a reapplication to the NMC.

Re-sit results are always a Pass or a Full Fail and the next OSCE attempt always requires a full re-sit.

What happens if I pass?

After you pass OSCE exam, the next stage is to complete identity check followed by registration fee payment & declaration in order to get your UK NMC Pin number and can start work as a registered nurse or midwife in the UK.

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