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UK NMC Set to Publish New English Guidelines for foreign Nurses, Take Effects from November
Date Posted: 17/Oct/2017
The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has today announced that it is making alternative options available for nurses and midwives, trained outside the UK, to demonstrate their English language capability.
From 1 November 2017, the NMC will accept the Occupational English Test (OET) in addition to the International English Language Test System (IELTS), as proof of a nurse or midwife’s English language competence. While this provides an alternative way for nurses and midwives to demonstrate their English language capability, applicants will still be required to meet the NMC’s existing English language standards.
Nurses and midwives who have qualified outside EU/EEA will now also be able to demonstrate their English language capability by providing evidence that they have:
• undertaken a pre-registration nursing or midwifery qualification taught and examined in English.
• registered and practised for a minimum of one year in a country where English is the first and native language, and a successful pass in an English language test was required for registration.
These alternative forms of evidence will bring the options available for nurses and midwives trained outside the EU/EEA more closely in line with evidence that we accept for those trained in the EU/EEA.
NMC Chief Executive and Registrar, Jackie Smith said:
“Nurses and midwives trained outside the UK make up around 15 percent of our register. They are vital to the delivery of health and care services across the UK.
“By accepting alternative forms of evidence we are increasing the options available for nurses and midwives to demonstrate they have the necessary command of English to practice safely and effectively, without compromising patient safety.”
This represents the first stage of the NMC’s review of its English language requirements. It will continue to evaluate other potential types of evidence, develop additional support for applicants and explore the evidence base for the IELTS test.

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