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NMC suspends overseas applications

The Nursing and Midwifery Council has suspended applications from overseas nurses seeking to join the UK register while it carries out a review of its processes.

Announcing the decision, the regulator said the review would lead to a “clearer, better understood and more robust registration process for overseas applicants and will strengthen the NMC’s ability to protect the public”. 

The review follows the publication of a critical review from the Professional Standards Authority last year, which found the NMC was not fulfilling its responsibilities “effectively or efficiently”.

The regulator said the review was not due to concerns that nurses trained overseas posed a higher risk than UK nurses, but was part of its “ongoing improvement plan”.

An NMC spokeswoman said a decision had been taken to suspend applications until the end of February in case the review recommended a change in the documentation required from applicants.

Overseas nurses already registered with the NMC will be notified once the review is complete if there are any changes to the process that affect them.

Readers' comments (12)

  • The positive - the NMC are looking into finally providing a service that is Fit for Purpose.
    The negative - 1) There will be some nurses caught up in this decision, taken without notice, who risk losing job offers or moving to the UK & finding themselves income-less whilst wait for this to resolve. 2) "Overseas nurses already registered with the NMC will be notified once the review is complete if there are any changes to the process that affect them." So are they implying there are nurses on register who shouldn't be (& that's not exactly unique to overseas nurses)? & what will be in place for working nurses who believed they had fulfilled everything needed for registration who may find themselves temporarily without a registration through no fault of their own (unlike e.g. people who are late paying their registration fee), both practice-wise & salary-wise?

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  • a pretty shoddy way to treat nurses already in the process or those who may have given up their jobs for a move to the UK.

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  • What about the 40 portuguese nurses that a Suffolk trust has just hired; will they now be able to come? Perhaps they have already got their registration sorted out.

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  • Anonymous | 2-Feb-2013 9:56 am

    the last para. rather suggests that the NMC can change their terms and conditions. I just hope these nurses won't be the victims of unfair treatment, or our reputation dragged further into the mud!

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  • tinkerbell

    Perhaps this is because they won't need as many RN's anymore if HCA's are to take over the role of nurses. Fits in rather conveniently.

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  • If the overseas students are coming from the EU what is the legal position?

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  • I am glad that this issue is being taken seriously by the NMC.
    Foreign nurses/MWs should help their own countries cope with their own formidible health needs instead of coming here where our own nurses/MW are desperate for jobs. We are robbing poor countries of skilled resources. Also our nurses/MWs require strict CRB checks. Can we say the same is implemented for overseas nurses/MWs??

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  • experience and educational exchange is very important for nurses from all countries and can help those from poorer countries develop the competencies they require.

    it may be one of the problems of nurses working in the NHS. they have never gained any outside experience.

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  • I am currently at the final stage of getting my registration which is being held up by this review. I am actually a British citizen and was born in the UK but because I studied in Australia had to go through the overseas process. I had to give up my job in Australia to return to the UK to complete my overseas nursing programme and I am now in limbo unable to work in either country. It is very unfair to people already in the process when the steps we were required to take were outlined at the beginning of the application. They now seem to be changing the goal posts and messing around with people's livelihoods.

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  • As per the above entry I too am a UK citizen and an UK trained RN. I left the UK as there were no jobs in the early 90's proving that unfortunately not everyone this concerns can be pigeon- holed so easily. I also trained in Australia.. As a midwife. I repatriated in Dec '12 and am 10 months into my overseas registration process. I am not in receipt of any state money, am unable to work as a midwife and am having difficulty in getting short listed for any job as I am so obviously an enthusiastic MW on my CV, have been for 7 years and now have my Masters in Midwifery having graduated last year. I have three children and no job and no income. The NMC have stalled any decision appertaining to me personally until at least April which will make me a whole year into this process.
    To add insult to injury I have to attend a money- making overseas midwifery programme, only run in London, and therefore have to fund the course and accomodation for the duration.
    Frustrated simply isn't the word! I cannot understand the hold up and if one more person mentions any midwifery shortage in the UK I am liable to explode!

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  • Johanna Robinson | 27-Feb-2013 4:45 pm

    this and i am sure many in a similar situation is not good enough!

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  • @joanna, I have sympathy for you but these programmes are not money making, they are costly to put on, who do you think should pay! There have been numerous incidents over the last 10 years with bogus qualifications - this is not the first time it has happened so its good that the nmc are looking for more robust practices. There has also been incidents of bogus people doing pre reg. the nmc have quite a task, checking credentials is difficult and the the task should be thorough- as people have already said its about public safety and if someone goes to the extreme of providing bogus qualifications and personal data, well, I don't want them nursing me

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