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1,000 nurses affected by NMC overseas ban

Almost 1,000 overseas nurses have had their applications to work in the UK put on hold by the Nursing and Midwifery Council due to concerns about fraudulent registration, Nursing Times has learned.

The NMC suspended applications from overseas nurses at the beginning of February, initially for one month.

This has since been extended and the regulator now plans to begin considering applications from overseas nurses on 2 April. In the meantime a backlog of 994 applications has built up. During 2012 the regulator registered on average 100 new overseas nurses a month, meaning it could take almost a year to clear it.

Chief executive Jackie Smith said: “We need to offer the public a high degree of confidence in overseas registration. We recognise that what has been done has not been as robust as it should have been and we’re sorry.

“However we are moving quickly to redress this and produce a strong and consistent system to protect the public. We intend to resume overseas registration as quickly as possible.”

This week the NMC confirmed two issues had been identified with the registration process: concerns about whether identity documents had been properly validated and concerns over training requirements for nurse from Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the US.

Applicants from these countries had to take a 20 day course in order to register while applicants from most other countries had to take a three or a six month course. The NMC said it was not clear whether this policy had always been followed in practice.

The regulator said it had not yet discovered any documents that are confirmed to be fraudulent but, likewise, it is also unable to confirm that no false applications have been made.

The NMC confirmed it was considering requiring overseas applicants to attend the NMC’s offices in person with their documents in future, as the General Medical Council does.

Readers' comments (8)

  • Oh dear, just who is th that gets paid for doing background checks on these people?

    It makes a thinking person wonder if any checks are done at all, given that there is doubt about 1000 false regitrations..

    How strange that we never had this amount of fraudulent practice when we trained our own Nursing Staff.

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  • Sorry, just reposting comment due to typo error.

    Oh dear, just who is it that gets paid for doing background checks on these people?

    It makes a thinking person wonder if any checks are done at all, given that there is doubt about 1000 false regitrations..

    How strange that we never had this amount of fraudulent practice when we trained our own Nursing Staff.

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  • Exactly !!!...only now they are copping on....Sooo funny !!!

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  • More admit = more charges. Probably been happening for decades. Also a possibility that some may have fraudulently started as nursing students here prior to registration, due to less rigorous checks at all levels have managed to get through.
    There's still quite a bit of recruitment from overseas as in some countries it takes 4 years to be qualified for registration, and this extra year's experience is valued while still paying someone at the same bottom starting increment. Also recruiting from diverse background helps with patients with cultural + language issues, as well as more people with better work ethics to choose from.
    Besides with current climate would anyone recommend young people to start a career in nursing.

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  • This is an excellence measures taken to prevent fraudulent activities since we are dealing with lives not papers. kudos!!

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  • I often wonder about CRB checks. Is this requirement applied as rigorously to foreign nurses as to UK nurses. I suspect not and neither can they be reliable if obtained from certain parts of the world.
    Lets have a 'UK trained nurses first' policy for jobs here. This would be particulary helpful for 3rd world countries who desperately need to keep their own nurses.

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  • one facility actually had a care aide posing as an RN...fake documentation from the Phillipines

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  • hasn't this now been lifted? I seem to remember a later article saying it had.

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