Nursing bodies and trusts are being asked to consider whether a European-wide training curriculum for health professionals should replace national programmes, in order to encourage migration.
The proposal is one of several being consulted on by healthcare managers’ representative body, the NHS Confederation, after being put forward by the European Commission.
The changes would also allow the Nursing and Midwifery Council to introduce new “adaptation” tests for European workers who have previously failed aptitude tests.
Some patients’ groups have expressed concern that this could lead to a drop in standards for immigrant nurses.
But in response, an NMC spokeswoman said: “The test will only be available in English so participants will need to demonstrate proficient communication skills in order to be successful.”
She added: “It will include components relating to safeguarding children and adults, as well as rigorous testing of numeracy and drug calculations in a range of healthcare settings.”
The changes could also see nurses given a European “professional” card containing information on their credentials.
In addition, a mandatory alert mechanism would be established for health regulatory bodies to warn each other about fraudulent or dangerous professionals
The deadline for responses to the consultation is 3 March.
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