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How to register with the NMC

The Nursing and Midwifery Council has over 600,000 nurses and midwives on its books and if you want to work in the UK you’ll have to join them. Here’s how …

The NMC is a regulatory body you’ve probably heard of. They set the standards for your education, to make sure you have the right skills and qualities to nurse. They also set out how you will need to work and behave as a practicing nurse or midwife.

It’s actually illegal to work as a nurse or a midwife in the UK without being on the NMC register, so it’s incredibly important that you get this sorted before you go out to practice.

How do I register?

After completion your education, your higher education institute or university will send off your details to the NMC. This will include a declaration of your good health and good character.

If these are satisfactory, the NMC will then send you an application form to fill out and details of the registration fee.

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Once you return this you will be registered within two to ten days. You will receive your pin card and statement of entry 7-10 days after you are registered. If you have not heard anything from the NMC about your registration within three weeks then they recommend that you call them to ask if there are any problems.

It is important that you apply to register within five years of completing your course.

How do I complete my application form?

The NMC say to check that:

  • your student pin is entered correctly
  • your course details are entered correctly
  • your clearly state which part of register you are applying for
  • your personal details are correct
  • your HEI has the same details for you as you tell us - it can delay your registration if we have to check this 
  • you pay the correct amount, and remember to sign the cheque
  • you send your cheque and forms together
  • you complete and send the declaration of good health and good character with everything else.

How much does it cost?

Initial registration with the NMC costs £76.

In order to stay on the register, you will have to pay a yearly fee and prove that you fulfil the NMC requirements for keeping your skills and knowledge up to date.

What does the NMC mean by ‘good character’?

  • Good character: “Good character is important and is central to the code in that nurses and midwives must be honest and trustworthy. Your good character is based on your conduct, behaviour and attitude. It also takes account of any convictions, cautions and pending charges that are likely to be incompatible with professional registration. Your character must be sufficiently good for you to be capable of safe and effective practice without supervision.”
  • Good health: “Good health is necessary to undertake practice as a nurse or midwife. Good health means that you must be capable of safe and effective practice without supervision. It does not mean the absence of any disability or health condition. Many disabled people and those with health conditions are able to practise with or without adjustments to support their practice.”

Taken from: The code: Standards of conduct, performance and ethics for nurses and midwives 2008

Good luck

Your NMC registration is your ticket to go out and work as a qualified nurse or midwife, so good luck!

Readers' comments (1)

  • As an registered nurse in Australia, with over 6 years clincial experience in a range of fields, I am appauled to now come to the UK to practice as a nurse and not be eligible for my registration.
    The NMC are doing everything in their will to deny overseas nurses the ability to be registered in the UK. They are setting unrealistic standards and requirements in order for the paperwork to even be processed. To start with they have increased the minimium prac hours as a student, to over 2000 hours. In Australia, the average is 200 hours. They are charging exorbidant fees for the process to be considered and are now asking for a minimum three months supervised practice. In many cases unpaid and in no location of your choice. This leaves us with no choice but to give the NHS what they want and to work as HCA's whilst giving up the dream of having UK national registration. So my advise to all nurses before deciding to give up your life at home, move to the UK and work as a nurse, think again. The reality is you will be out of pocket large amounts of money and will be asked to jump through more hoops than a circus clown all to end up working as a health care assistant performing nursing duties.

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