Nurses and midwives from Bulgaria and Romania are being urged to check their qualifications meet European Union nursing standards before coming to the UK.
The recommendation by the Nursing and Midwifery Council comes in light of Bulgaria and Romania joining the EU yesterday.
All EU nationals must be registered with the NMC in order to practise in the UK and only those holding qualifications that comply with the European Nursing Directive will be able to do so.
The regulatory body also warned applicants against arrangements for 'fast track' registration for individuals or recruitment agencies. It said nurses and midwives who pay an agency to submit an application on their behalf would be 'wasting their time and money' as all applications are dealt with on a first come, first served basis.
NMC vice president Moi Ali said: 'Only those nurses and midwives who meet the NMC's standards for professional qualifications and training are allowed on to the register. This is in order to ensure that practitioners, patients and the public remain safe.'
Is the NMC's warning justified? Join in Nursing Times forums and join in the debate.