The Nursing and Midwifery Council has begun accepting applications from overseas nurses again – but has warned applicants they could face delays in registration.
Applications from overseas nurses were suspended at the end of January while the NMC carried out a review of its processes surrounding overseas applications.
The regulator is continuing its review but has started accepting applications again after making some interim changes to tighten up its procedures. These include more stringent checks on identity documents, including only accepting first copies and requiring the copy to be signed by a professional to confirm an individual’s identity.
An NMC spokeswoman confirmed no overseas nurses had yet been found to be fraudulently registered, adding that checks were ongoing.
However, the review found requirements were not always being enforced around the need for nurses from Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the US to complete additional training hours to make their education comparable with the UK. In future this will be monitored more closely.
Almost 1,000 overseas nurses had their applications put on hold while the review was carried out. The spokeswoman said the NMC would contact these individuals if they required more information.
She said: “Our immediate priority is to process these applications. New applications are welcome, and we have brought in additional staff, but new applicants may experience some delays.”
The NMC plans to produce proposals for an overhaul of the registration process for overseas nurses and introduce them in the next 12 months. It will then conduct a similar review of processes for EU and UK nurses.
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