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This week's news summary...

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Paying your NMC fees is about to become more flexible with the introduction of the option to pay quarterly. Until now, fees could only be paid in one annual lump sum. The NMC has also confirmed that the fee will remain at £120 for 2016-17, after the controversial decision to increase it from £100 to £120 last year.

In addition, NMC council papers have revealed the introduction of English language tests for nurses coming to work in the UK from the European Union, which has sparked a surge in applications from EU nurses.

Meanwhile, nurses remaining on the immigration shortage occupation list will be welcome news for both overseas nurses heading for the UK and for short-staffed trusts around the country currently unable to fill vacancies. The Migration Advisory Committee warned that the UK was in the grip of a national shortage of nurses and it recommended “reluctantly” that the profession be retained on the list, while delivering a scathing attack on NHS workforce planning.

Ever wondered if your nurse training would “kick in” in a real-life emergency situation? Chief executive of charity Education for Health, Monica Fletcher, found out this week when she was metres away from one of the bomb blasts during the Brussels attacks. Ms Fletcher describes the emergency service response as “amazing and spectacular work,” stating “They were so efficient and worked tirelessly and are a credit to the services.”

Nursing students and graduates from University of Manchester and King’s College London have a right to feel smug this week. Both reached the top 10 for nursing in a list of global higher education institutions. The list, compiled by analysts from QS Quacquarelli Symonds, is claimed to be the first ever global ranking of its kind.

Over 500 nurses shared with us their views on revalidation this week. Obtaining five pieces of feedback and writing five reflective accounts were commonly cited as the most anxiety-provoking aspects of the new system to re-register with the NMC. A quarter of respondents reporting having had no support from their employer, however a third rated the support they have received as “excellent” or “adequate”. We were also relieved that none of the respondents hadn’t heard of revalidation, although 15% told us they are ignoring the process “until I absolutely have to deal with it”.

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