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NMC registration - outside EU/EEA

NMC Registration Guide for Nurses trained outside the EU/EEA

Registering with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is your first step to work as a nurse in the UK. The various stages of the NMC registration may seem overwhelming, but please take comfort in the fact that we will assist and support you throughout the whole process. Our team has been specifically trained to provide support and guidance to the nurses.

With this guide, and the associated website, we hope to make your move to the UK easier, so that instead of worrying about practicalities you can relax and enjoy the experience.

To help you through registration, please ensure you follow the guide below carefully step-by-step:

Step 1: Eligibility

You will first need to complete an online form to confirm you meet the basic minimum requirements to join the NMC (, including:

-  English language requirements:

You must be able to prove to the NMC that you can communicate clearly and effectively in English under one (1) of the 3 categories listed below:

1) Providing a proof of achieving required academic IELTS 7.0 in each section or OET at B level. You must demonstrate competence in the four areas of: Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking.

OET/IELTS – it is imperative that you seek professional assistance from a certified OET/IELTS training provider in preparation for your exam. OET at B grade and/or IELTS 7.0 is the first and most challenging step in the whole process and you should give it your full focus and attention.

2) You have a recent pre-registration nursing degree, which was taught and assessed in English. Recent refers to 'which should not be more than two years old at the time of registration'. If your nursing course was taught and assessed in English, you will have to provide the following evidence.

- A University Transcript of Training, evidence must confirm that at least 50% of programme includes clinical interaction.

- A letter from the institution completing a NMC form sections 8a & 8b.

3) Registration and practice of at least one year in a country where English is the first and native language and an English language assessment was required for registration.

-  Practice requirements:

At the time of the application, you must have practised as a registered nurse or midwife for at least 12 months (full time or the part-time equivalent, not voluntary) after qualifying. This post-registration experience must be relevant to the field of practice you are applying for. If you have not undertaken any duties as a registered nurse in the three years prior to making your application, you should contact to the NMC to discuss available options.

- Registration requirements:

A current registration or licence to practice without restriction with the licensing authority or registration body in the country in which you have qualified or have been practising is a requirement.

If you have worked as a nurse or midwife in more than one country or state, you will be required to be registered with the licensing authority or registration body in all the countries/state(s) where you have worked. We will require verification from that authority regardless of the length of your employment.

- Education requirements:

You must have successfully completed at least 10 years of basic primary/secondary school education prior to commencing your nursing or midwifery training programme.

- Specific NMC Criteria for new applicants - Adult (general) nursing:

You will be asked to complete an online self-assessment of your eligibility to apply before beginning the application process.

You would have had to completed a programme at post-secondary level leading to registration as a general nurse.

The programme should be three years in length (or equivalent) and contain a minimum of 500 hours of clinical practice, which must be evidenced by a transcript of training from the applicant’s higher education institution.

The programme must have included 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, and
  • Community/primary care nursing.

Further details may be found on

- NMC registration fees:

There are different fees for different stages of the application and registration process:

-              Application for nursing registration               £140

-              Part 1 test of competence (CBT)                  £130

-              Part 2 test of competence (OSCE)                £992

-              Admission onto NMC register                       £153

Total:                                                                         £1415

*Please note that the prices above are quoted in GBP. Most of the NHS Trusts will sponsor the above fees in advance.

Each professional field of nursing, including adult (general), children’s, learning disabilities, mental health and the midwifery profession, is examined by our NMC’s test of competence. Part one is a multiple-choice examination and part two is a practical examination called an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE).

For more detailed information please familiarise yourself with the following NMC guide:

Step 2: Test of competence (CBT) 

Once your eligibility has been confirmed, you will be able to sit the first part of the test of competence (CBT), a computer-based examination test of theoretical practice-based knowledge. The test can be taken in any of the Pearson Vue testing centres around the World. For more information, please read:

The CBT is a test of 120 multiple choice questions. You have a maximum of 2 attempts to pass CBT. If you fail the first attempt, you will only be able to book your second test at the earliest after 28 days has passed. When you pass the CBT, the NMC will require you to submit a number of standard completed forms and documents online – full details may be found in your NMC online account.

Step 3: Assessment 

You will need to provide the following evidence in order to complete an assessment:

- A valid passport. This same document must also be presented at the Pearson Vue test centre for identity purposes.

- Birth certificate.

- A qualification certificate for each qualification being submitted as part of the application.

- Registration certificates from each jurisdiction where the applicant has practised and/or been registered.

- Two employment references confirming the applicant’s post-registration practice of at least 12 months, their competence and character.

- Verifications from all jurisdictions where the applicant practised or where the applicant has previously been registered.

- Transcript of training for all relevant nursing or midwifery programmes completed by the applicant. These must be calculated in hours or be accompanied by a letter from the training institution with a key to how the credits translate to hours.

- A good health declaration from the applicant’s general practitioner or the occupational health department at their place of work.

- A police clearance certificate from all countries where the applicant has lived since the age of 18.

Please be aware that you will be required to present all of the original documents you have previously submitted to the NMC via the online portal once you arrive in the UK.

Step 4: Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) 

The second part of the test is the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). This will act out scenarios which you are likely to encounter when you assess, plan, carry out and evaluate patient care. Each separate clinical examination is known as a ‘station’ and you will visit all the stations within a set time. Each of the six stations has standardised marking criteria against which all candidates are assessed.

Before taking the test, you will be expected to demonstrate safe and effective practice. You will also have access to outline videos of OSCEs, details of behaviours which indicate active listening and caring, and information on how you will be observed and assessed by the examiners being filmed for quality assurance purposes.

The examination will be completed within one day and the test of competence is based on current UK pre-registration standards. So, after a thorough practical & theoretical preparation (approximately 6-8 weeks post your arrival to the UK) provided by your employer you will undertake the OSCE at one of the NMC approved testing centres in the UK. Your employer will book (and also likely to pay for) your exam.

An NMC representative will be available at the testing centre to undertake the face-to-face ID verification, but will not act as the examiner during OSCE. The results of the test are usually available within 5 working days and shared with yourself and the NMC. If you are successful, you should receive your PIN within 5 days. 

Fail - You will have a maximum of three attempts to pass the OSCE. Should you fail your first attempt, there is a minimum of 10 days “holding period” between the first and second attempt. You will have to undertake the second / third OSCE exam within 8 months of the date of your original Certificate of Sponsorship being issued (not the date of the arrival in the country). It is possible to part fail OSCE, i.e. fail only 2 out of 6 OSCE testing stations, in which case you will be asked to only repeat the parts you have failed at.

Step 5: Identification check

A face-to-face ID check will take place at the OSCE location on the same day as the OSCE. You will be required to bring all the original documents that you have uploaded as supporting evidence for your application. If you cannot produce the documents required, you will have to rebook an ID check at the NMC London office before you can complete the last stage of the process and receive your registration number.

Step 6: Final registration

Once the NMC has received notification that you have successfully completed part two of the test of competence (OSCE) and the ID check, you will be invited to complete your final declaration and payment for registration online. Once both have been received, the NMC will send you your registration number PIN (personal identification number), confirming that you are fully registered with the NMC. Finally, your registration will then show up on the NMC register online.


- Translations:

When applying for registration please ensure all your application forms are completed in full, stamped and signed where appropriate.

All stamps and signatures must be in English and clearly visible. Please ensure all signatures are identical.

All certified documents in a language other than English must be accompanied by an official English translation. You must provide the original language document and the official English translation. The NMC do not accept photocopies of these documents.

Translations must be from a legally licensed and authorised translator. The translator must confirm in writing that the translation is an exact and direct translation from the original language into English. The translator’s full name, address, signature, contact details and stamp must be provided.

The NMC accepts documents that have been certified by any of the following:

- a legal practitioner (solicitor, lawyer)

- a notary public

- the competent nursing/midwifery registration/regulatory authority in your country of training

- an official who is authorised to certify documents from an embassy or consulate

- a police officer

- a justice of the peace

- the office of mayor (when authorised to do so), and

- a member of the UK or Scottish parliaments or a member of the Welsh or Northern Ireland assemblies.

Please do not send original documents such as passports and certificates to the NMC, as those cannot be returned to you.

- Employer references

Both references must be completed and signed by either a senior nurse, another senior clinician (such as a registered medical practitioner) or the applicant’s line manager. If the two references are from the same employer, two different individuals must complete the references. References should not be provided by an individual who is related to the applicant by birth, marriage or a similar relationship to marriage.

- Health declarations

The individual completing your declaration of good health must not be a member of your family and should have undertaken an examination of you in the last six months. The declaration must be no more than three months old at the time of the application. If expired, the NMC will not be able to process the application until you provide a more current declaration of good health.

- Character evidence

You will need to provide the following documents to the NMC:

- For every overseas country in which you have lived for more than three months, you will need to provide a police clearance certificate.

- If you have lived in the UK for more than three months, you will also need to provide to the NMC a standard level Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate. Please note that these documents must be submitted within three months from the date of issue.


Trained outside of EEA, but a national of EEA

If you trained outside the EEA, but you are a national of an EEA member state, you may be eligible to apply through the EU route of registration. However, to do this, you must have been registered and practising in an EEA member state for at least three years and be able to provide evidence. The rules governing registration are very complex and for this reason, please contact directly the NMC for discuss further your situation:

UK immigration processes

Please be aware that the full requirements of the UK’s immigration processes can be found separately through the following link:

We hope all of the above makes sense, but please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any further questions. All our team is delighted to support you and respond to all your queries.

NEU Professionals Team

Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust
Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

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