The Nursing and Midwifery Council has announced that a third UK centre for testing nurses and midwives trained outside of Europe is to be opened in Northern Ireland.
The NMC said the new centre at Ulster University would help to increase capacity, meaning a greater choice of location and shorter waiting times for those wanting to sit the competence test.
The new test centre in Ulster joins existing centres at the University of Northampton and Oxford Brookes University. It will be open for bookings in the spring, said the regulator.
Jackie Smith, NMC chief executive and registrar, said: “The NMC recognises the invaluable contribution that nurses and midwives trained outside the EU and EEA make and the vital role they play in the UK’s health and care workforce.
“It is important that nurses and midwives trained outside the EU and EEA wanting to join our register are able to sit this test in a variety of locations across the UK,” she said.
“This new test centre will help to ensure that nurses and midwives with the right skills and knowledge join our register can do so in a timely way,” she added.
In order to join the NMC’s register, nurses and midwives trained outside the European Union and European Economic Area must successfully take a two-part test of competence.
The first part is computer-based and can be taken anywhere in the world. If successful, applicants can then take the objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) in the UK.